The Aerodynamics of the Curled Wake: A Simplified Model in View of Flow Control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When a wind turbine is yawed, the shape of the wake changes and a curled wake profile is generated. The curled wake has drawn a lot of interest because of its aerodynamic complexity and applicability to wind farm controls. The main mechanism for the creation of the curled wake has been identified in the literature as a collection of vortices that are shed from the rotor plane when the turbine is yawed. This work extends that idea by using aerodynamic concepts to develop a control-oriented model for the curled wake based on approximations to the Navier-Stokes equations. The model is tested and compared to large-eddy simulations using actuator disk and line models. The model is able to capture the curling mechanism for a turbine under uniform inflow and in the case of a neutral atmospheric boundary layer. The model is then tested inside the FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady State framework and provides excellent agreement with power predictions for cases with two and three turbines in a row.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
JournalWind Energy Science Discussions
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-73451 for final paper as published in Wind Energy Science

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-72098


  • aerodynamics
  • control
  • wake
  • wind turbines
  • yaw


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