Investigation of the Nacelle Blockage Effect for a Downwind Turbine

Benjamin Anderson, Emmanuel Branlard, Ganesh Vijayakumar, Nicholas Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


As downwind turbines garner increasing research interest, nacelle blockage becomes an important consideration. This paper examines nacelle blockage effects under a variety of Reynolds numbers, turbulence intensities, and nacelle geometries and proposes a computationally inexpensive nacelle blockage engineering model. Results show minimal nacelle blockage impacts on rotor loading and performance, except for tall (low-aspect-ratio) nacelles, which can cause an increase in rotor Cp of up to 0.6%. In all cases, nacelle blockage increases rotor loading and performance metrics, however little. Finally, (more expensive) geometry-resolved and (less expensive) body-force computational fluid dynamics modeling techniques are compared, and body-force models are found to need improvement to adequately model nacelle blockage.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 062062
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number6
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2020
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind 2020, TORQUE 2020 - Virtual, Online, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-76879


  • CFD
  • downwind
  • nacelle blockage
  • wind energy


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