Design and Analysis of a Wake Model for Spatially Heterogeneous Flow

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17 Scopus Citations


Methods of turbine wake modeling are being developed to more accurately account for spatially variant atmospheric conditions within wind farms. Most current wake modeling utilities are designed to apply a uniform flow field to the entire domain of a wind farm. When this method is used, the accuracy of power prediction and wind farm controls can be compromised depending on the flow-field characteristics of a particular area. In an effort to improve strategies of wind farm wake modeling and power prediction, FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady State (FLORIS) was developed to implement sophisticated methods of atmospheric characterization and power output calculation. In this paper, we describe an adapted FLORIS model that features spatial heterogeneity in flow-field characterization. This model approximates an observed flow field by interpolating from a set of atmospheric measurements that represent local weather conditions. The objective of this method is to capture heterogeneous atmospheric effects caused by site-specific terrain features, without explicitly modeling the geometry of the wind farm terrain. The implemented adaptations were validated by comparing the simulated power predictions generated from FLORIS to the actual recorded wind farm output from the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) recordings and large eddy simulations (LESs). When comparing the performance of the proposed heterogeneous model to homogeneous FLORIS simulations, the results show a 14.6% decrease for mean absolute error (MAE) in wind farm power output predictions for cases using wind farm SCADA data and a 18.9% decrease in LES case studies. The results of these studies also indicate that the efficacy of the proposed modeling techniques may vary with differing site-specific operational conditions. This work quantifies the accuracy of wind plant power predictions under heterogeneous flow conditions and establishes best practices for atmospheric surveying for wake modeling.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)737-758
Number of pages22
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-75815 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-80331


  • controls-oriented wake models
  • design
  • wake modeling
  • wind energy
  • wind farm


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