Boulder Fluid and Thermal Sciences Seminar Series

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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3:30pm-4:30pm (refreshments at 3:15pm)
Bechtel Collaboratory
Discovery Learning Center
University of Colorado at Boulder

Add to Calendar 02/20/2018 3:30:00 PM 02/20/2018 4:30:00 PM 9 Boulder Fluid and Thermal Sciences Seminar Discovery Learning Center, University of Colorado, Boulder MM/DD/YYYY

Large Eddy Simulations and Theoretical Analysis of Wind Turbine Aerodynamics Using an Actuator Line Model

Tony Martínez National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The actuator line model is a widely used tool to represent wind turbine blades when performing numerical simulations of flow over wind turbines and wind farms. In this work, a theoretical approach is used to improve the actuator line model. In the actuator line model, a Gaussian kernel is used to establish the width over which the body forces are distributed. An optimal body force distribution is found based on two-dimensional aerodynamics. This optimal distribution is tested on a three-dimensional large eddy simulation of a wind turbine in uniform inflow. The optimal distribution is able to resolve the aerodynamics of the blade, including the tip vortices. The optimal distribution, requires grid resolutions on the order of 1,000 grid points across the rotor. A theoretical framework is developed to predict the behavior of the ALM near the tip. Based on this framework, a new correction is developed to represent the effects of having an optimal distribution, while using a non-optimal distribution. This allows the use of much coarser grid resolutions, while still obtaining the same results of using an optimal distribution.


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Support from Herbert and Karen Vogel is gratefully acknowledged through a Vogel Faculty Fellowship at the University of Colorado, Boulder.



The seminar is held at the Discovery Learning Center (DLC) at the University of Colorado. Parking is free with a permit, which is provided at the seminar. The location for parking is shown in the map below.

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