A Multipurpose Lifting-Line Flow Solver for Arbitrary Wind Energy Concepts

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


In this work, we extend the AeroDyn module of OpenFAST 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. Aerodynamics and inflow are assembled into one module that can be readily coupled with an elastic solver. 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 multirotors, kites, or vertical-Axis wind turbines. We perform verification and validation of some of the new features using the following test cases: elliptical wings, horizontal-Axis wind turbines, and 2D and 3D vertical-Axis wind turbines. The wind turbine simulations are compared to existing tools and field measurements. We use this opportunity to describe some limitations of current models and to highlight areas that we think should be the focus of future research in wind turbine aerodynamics.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-81469 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-82498


  • lifting-line solver
  • wind energy


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