The Curled Wake Model: A Three-Dimensional and Extremely Fast Steady-State Wake Solver for Wind Plant Flows

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23 Scopus Citations


Wind turbine wake models typically require approximations, such as wake superposition and deflection models, to accurately describe wake physics. However, capturing the phenomena of interest, such as the curled wake and interaction of multiple wakes, in wind power plant flows comes with an increased computational cost. To address this, we propose a new hybrid method that uses analytical solutions with an approximate form of the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations to solve the time-Averaged flow over a wind plant. We compare results from the solver to supervisory control and data acquisition data from the Lillgrund wind plant obtaining wake model predictions which are generally within 1 standard deviation of the mean power data. We perform simulations of flow over the Columbia River Gorge to demonstrate the capabilities of the model in complex terrain. We also apply the solver to a case with wake steering, which agreed well with large-eddy simulations. This new solver reduces the time-and therefore the related cost-it takes to simulate a steady-state wind plant flow (on the order of seconds using one core). Because the model is computationally efficient, it can also be used for different applications including wake steering for wind power plants and layout optimization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)555-570
Number of pages16
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-76852 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-79918


  • curled wake
  • parabolic solver
  • RANS
  • wake models
  • wakes
  • wind turbines


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