Large-Eddy Simulation of a Wind Turbine Using Filtered Actuator Line Model

Ronith Stanly, Luis Martinez-Tossas, Steven Frankel, Yann Delorme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus Citations


When dealing with multirotor devices such as quadcopters or wind farms, the cost of blade-resolved large-eddy simulation (LES) becomes prohibitive. Combining LES with a family of lower-fidelity models, called actuator line models (ALMs), has grown in popularity in the past decade. ALM replaces full blade resolution with an array of actuator points or lines parameterized by aerodynamic lift/drag polar plots along the blades. Body forces computed based on these actuator points are then projected onto the LES flow mesh, mimicking the effect of rotating blades on the flow. However, the optimal projection radius and the associated LES grid size is often too restrictive for multirotor simulations. Recently, a new tip-correction-based filtered ALM (F-ALM) was proposed by Martínez-Tossas and Meneveau (2019), which allows coarser-than-optimal grids by avoiding the associated overprediction of thrust. In this work, F-ALM is implemented into a high-order, in-house LES code to simulate National Renewable Energy Laboratory Phase VI wind turbine. It is then followed by a comparison between the baseline ALM and the newly implemented F-ALM in terms of instantaneous and time-averaged flow fields and blade loads, revealing the advantages of F-ALM in preventing the overprediction of power on coarse grids. This encourages accurate and affordable simulations of multirotor devices in the future.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104868
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-81632


  • Actuator Line Model
  • Coarse grid
  • NREL phase VI rotor
  • Parallel
  • Wind turbine


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