A Multi-Purpose Lifting-Line Flow Solver for Arbitrary Wind Energy Concepts

Emmanuel Branlard, Ian Brownstein, Benjamin Strom, Jason Jonkman, Scott Dana, Ian Baring-Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this work, we extend the AeroDyn module of OpenFAST to be able to support arbitrary collections of wings, rotors and towers. The new standalone AeroDyn driver supports arbitrary motions of the lifting-surfaces and complex turbulent inflows. We describe the features and updates necessary for the implementation of the new AeroDyn driver. We present different case studies of the driver to illustrate its application to concepts such as: multi-rotors, kites, or vertical axis wind turbines. We perform verification and validation of some of the new features using the following test cases: an elliptical wing, a horizontal axis wind turbine, and a 2D and 3D vertical axis wind turbines. The wind turbine simulations are compared to field measurements. We use this opportunity to point out some limitations of current models and highlight areas which we think should be the focus of future research in wind turbine aerodynamics.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
JournalWind Energy Science Discussions
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-82498 for final paper as published in Wind Energy Science

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-81469


  • lifting-line solver
  • wind energy


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