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Title: Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow

Abstract

This paper details the development of an aeroelastic wind plant model with large-eddy simulation (LES). The chosen LES solver is the Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) based on the OpenFOAM framework, coupled to NREL's comprehensive aeroelastic analysis tool, FAST. An atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) precursor simulation was constructed based on assessments of meteorological tower, lidar, and radar data over a 3-hour window. This precursor was tuned to the specific atmospheric conditions that occurred both prior to and during the measurement campaign, enabling capture of a night-to-day transition in the turbulent ABL. In the absence of height-varying temperature measurements, spatially averaged radar data were sufficient to characterize the atmospheric stability of the wind plant in terms of the shear profile, and near-ground temperature sensors provided a reasonable estimate of the ground heating rate describing the morning transition. A full aeroelastic simulation was then performed for a subset of turbines within the wind plant, driven by the precursor. Analysis of two turbines within the array, one directly waked by the other, demonstrated good agreement with measured time-averaged loads.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1358346
Report Number(s):
NREL/CP-5000-68543
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the AIAA SciTech Forum: 35th Wind Energy Symposium, 9-13 January 2017, Grapevine, Texas
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; large eddy simulation; SOWFA; OpenFOAM; FAST; atmospheric boundary layer; aeroelastic analyis

Citation Formats

Quon, Eliot W., Churchfield, Matthew J., Cheung, Lawrence, and Kern, Stefan. Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2514/6.2017-1163.
Quon, Eliot W., Churchfield, Matthew J., Cheung, Lawrence, & Kern, Stefan. Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow. United States. doi:10.2514/6.2017-1163.
Quon, Eliot W., Churchfield, Matthew J., Cheung, Lawrence, and Kern, Stefan. Mon . "Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow". United States. doi:10.2514/6.2017-1163.
@article{osti_1358346,
title = {Development of a Wind Plant Large-Eddy Simulation with Measurement-Driven Atmospheric Inflow},
author = {Quon, Eliot W. and Churchfield, Matthew J. and Cheung, Lawrence and Kern, Stefan},
abstractNote = {This paper details the development of an aeroelastic wind plant model with large-eddy simulation (LES). The chosen LES solver is the Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) based on the OpenFOAM framework, coupled to NREL's comprehensive aeroelastic analysis tool, FAST. An atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) precursor simulation was constructed based on assessments of meteorological tower, lidar, and radar data over a 3-hour window. This precursor was tuned to the specific atmospheric conditions that occurred both prior to and during the measurement campaign, enabling capture of a night-to-day transition in the turbulent ABL. In the absence of height-varying temperature measurements, spatially averaged radar data were sufficient to characterize the atmospheric stability of the wind plant in terms of the shear profile, and near-ground temperature sensors provided a reasonable estimate of the ground heating rate describing the morning transition. A full aeroelastic simulation was then performed for a subset of turbines within the wind plant, driven by the precursor. Analysis of two turbines within the array, one directly waked by the other, demonstrated good agreement with measured time-averaged loads.},
doi = {10.2514/6.2017-1163},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Conference:
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  • This paper details the development of an aeroelastic wind plant model with large-eddy simulation (LES). The chosen LES solver is the Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) based on the OpenFOAM framework, coupled to NREL's comprehensive aeroelastic analysis tool, FAST. An atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) precursor simulation was constructed based on assessments of meteorological tower, lidar, and radar data over a 3-hour window. This precursor was tuned to the specific atmospheric conditions that occurred both prior to and during the measurement campaign, enabling capture of a night-to-day transition in the turbulent ABL. In the absence of height-varying temperature measurements, spatiallymore » averaged radar data were sufficient to characterize the atmospheric stability of the wind plant in terms of the shear profile, and near-ground temperature sensors provided a reasonable estimate of the ground heating rate describing the morning transition. A full aeroelastic simulation was then performed for a subset of turbines within the wind plant, driven by the precursor. Analysis of two turbines within the array, one directly waked by the other, demonstrated good agreement with measured time-averaged loads.« less
  • This paper develops and evaluates the performance of a large-eddy simulation (LES) solver in computing the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) over flat terrain under a variety of stability conditions, ranging from shear driven (neutral stratification) to moderately convective (unstable stratification).
  • Wind plant aerodynamics are directly affected by the microscale weather, which is directly influenced by the mesoscale weather. Microscale weather refers to processes that occur within the atmospheric boundary layer with the largest scales being a few hundred meters to a few kilometers depending on the atmospheric stability of the boundary layer. Mesoscale weather refers to large weather patterns, such as weather fronts, with the largest scales being hundreds of kilometers wide. Sometimes microscale simulations that capture mesoscale-driven variations (changes in wind speed and direction over time or across the spatial extent of a wind plant) are important in windmore » plant analysis. In this paper, we present our preliminary work in coupling a mesoscale weather model with a microscale atmospheric large-eddy simulation model. The coupling is one-way beginning with the weather model and ending with a computational fluid dynamics solver using the weather model in coarse large-eddy simulation mode as an intermediary. We simulate one hour of daytime moderately convective microscale development driven by the mesoscale data, which are applied as initial and boundary conditions to the microscale domain, at a site in Iowa. We analyze the time and distance necessary for the smallest resolvable microscales to develop.« less
  • In this work, we present results of a large-eddy simulation of the 48 multi-megawatt turbines composing the Lillgrund wind plant. Turbulent inflow wind is created by performing an atmospheric boundary layer precursor simulation and turbines are modeled using a rotating, variable-speed actuator line representation. The motivation for this work is that few others have done wind plant large-eddy simulations with a substantial number of turbines, and the methods for carrying out the simulations are varied. We wish to draw upon the strengths of the existing simulations and our growing atmospheric large-eddy simulation capability to create a sound methodology for performingmore » this type of simulation. We have used the OpenFOAM CFD toolbox to create our solver.« less
  • In this work, we present results of a large-eddy simulation of the 48 multi-megawatt turbines composing the Lillgrund wind plant. Turbulent inflow wind is created by performing an atmospheric boundary layer precursor simulation, and turbines are modeled using a rotating, variable-speed actuator line representation. The motivation for this work is that few others have done large-eddy simulations of wind plants with a substantial number of turbines, and the methods for carrying out the simulations are varied. We wish to draw upon the strengths of the existing simulations and our growing atmospheric large-eddy simulation capability to create a sound methodology formore » performing this type of simulation. We used the OpenFOAM CFD toolbox to create our solver. The simulated time-averaged power production of the turbines in the plant agrees well with field observations, except with the sixth turbine and beyond in each wind-aligned. The power produced by each of those turbines is overpredicted by 25-40%. A direct comparison between simulated and field data is difficult because we simulate one wind direction with a speed and turbulence intensity characteristic of Lillgrund, but the field observations were taken over a year of varying conditions. The simulation shows the significant 60-70% decrease in the performance of the turbines behind the front row in this plant that has a spacing of 4.3 rotor diameters in this direction. The overall plant efficiency is well predicted. This work shows the importance of using local grid refinement to simultaneously capture the meter-scale details of the turbine wake and the kilometer-scale turbulent atmospheric structures. Although this work illustrates the power of large-eddy simulation in producing a time-accurate solution, it required about one million processor-hours, showing the significant cost of large-eddy simulation.« less