Preliminary Introduction of a Free Vortex Wake Method into OpenFAST: Article No. 012064

Kelsey Shaler, Emmanuel Branlard, Andrew Platt, Jason Jonkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


Increasing wind turbine size can have substantial economic benefits. However, increasing wind turbine turbine size requires the use of models that accurately capture the aerodynamic response to large deflections and nonstraight blade geometries. Additionally, the installation of offshore floating turbines requires turbine models that can handle large rotor motion. Free vortex wake (FVW) methods are capable of modeling this type of complex physics while remaining computationally tractable to perform the many simulations necessary for turbine design. In this work, a FVW model is added to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory engineering tool OpenFAST to allow for the aerodynamic modeling of highly flexible turbines along with the aero-hydro-servo-elastic response capabilities of OpenFAST. Code implementation is not complete and thus no results are presented. However, areas of potential modeling improvement are discussed, such as modifications to the circulation calculation and the need for different FVW input model specifications when high-thrust cases are being modeled.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-75096


  • free vortex wake
  • offshore
  • openFAST
  • wind energy


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