A study of wind turbine wakes in complex terrain through RANS simulation and SCADA data

[+] Author and Article Information
Davide Astolfi

Post-Doc, Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125

Francesco Castellani

Associate Professor, Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125

Ludovico Terzi

Technology manager, Renvico srl, Milano, Via San Gregorio 34, 20124

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039093 History: Received July 06, 2017; Revised December 23, 2017


This work deals with wind turbine wakes in complex terrain. The test case is a cluster of four 2.3 MW wind turbines, sited in a very complex terrain. Their performances are studied through SCADA data, suggesting a relevant role of the terrain in distorting the wake of the upstream turbines. The experimental evidences stimulate a deeper comprehension through numerical modeling: CFD simulations are run, using the RANS formulation. A novel way of elaborating the output of the simulations is proposed, providing metrics for quantifying the three-dimensional evolution of the wake. The main outcome of the numerical analysis is that the terrain distorts the wind flow so that the wake profile is severely asymmetric with respect to the lateral displacement. Further, the role of orography singularities is highlighted in divid- ing the wake front, thus inducing faster wake recovery with respect to flat terrain. This interpretation is confirmed by SCADA data analysis.

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