Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp 345-366

First online:

Large-Eddy Simulation of Wind-Turbine Wakes: Evaluation of Turbine Parametrisations

  • Yu-Ting WuAffiliated withSchool of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • , Fernando Porté-AgelAffiliated withSchool of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Email author 

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Large-eddy simulation (LES), coupled with a wind-turbine model, is used to investigate the characteristics of a wind-turbine wake in a neutral turbulent boundary-layer flow. The tuning-free Lagrangian scale-dependent dynamic subgrid-scale (SGS) model is used for the parametrisation of the SGS stresses. The turbine-induced forces (e.g., thrust, lift and drag) are parametrised using two models: (a) the ‘standard’ actuator-disk model (ADM-NR), which calculates only the thrust force and distributes it uniformly over the rotor area; and (b) the actuator-disk model with rotation (ADM-R), which uses the blade-element theory to calculate the lift and drag forces (that produce both thrust and rotation), and distribute them over the rotor disk based on the local blade and flow characteristics. Simulation results are compared to high-resolution measurements collected with hot-wire anemometry in the wake of a miniature wind turbine at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory atmospheric boundary-layer wind tunnel. In general, the characteristics of the wakes simulated with the proposed LES framework are in good agreement with the measurements in the far-wake region. The ADM-R yields improved predictions compared with the ADM-NR in the near-wake region, where including turbine-induced flow rotation and accounting for the non-uniformity of the turbine-induced forces appear to be important. Our results also show that the Lagrangian scale-dependent dynamic SGS model is able to account, without any tuning, for the effects of local shear and flow anisotropy on the distribution of the SGS model coefficient.


Actuator-disk model Blade-element momentum theory Large-eddy simulation Wind-turbine wakes