Turbulent Entrainment in Finite-Length Wind Farms

Nikolaos Bempedelis, Sylvain Laizet, Georgios Deskos

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4 Scopus Citations


In this article, we present an entrainment-based model for predicting the flow and power output of finite-length wind farms. The model is an extension of the three-layer approach of Luzzatto-Fegiz & Caulfield (Phys. Rev. Fluids, vol. 3, 2018, 093802) for wind farms of infinite length, and assumes dependence of key flow quantities, such as the wind farm bulk velocity, on the streamwise distance from the farm entrance. To assist our analysis and validate the proposed model, we undertake a series of large-eddy simulations with different turbine spacing arrangements and layouts. Comparisons are also made with the top-down model with entrance effects of Meneveau (J. Turbul., vol. 13, 2012, N7) and data from the literature. The finite-length entrainment model is shown to be capable of capturing the power drop between contiguous rows of turbines as well as describing the advection and turbulent transport of kinetic energy in both the entrance and fully developed regions. The fully developed regime is approximated only deep in the wind farm, after approximately 15 rows of turbines. Our data suggest that for the cases considered in this study, the empirical coefficients that can be used to describe turbulent entrainment and transfers above the wind farm exhibit little dependence on the farm layout and may be considered constant for modelling purposes. However, the flow field within the wind farm layer can be strongly modulated by the turbine density (spacing) as well as the array layout, and to that extent it can be argued that they are both primary factors determining the wind farm power output.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number955 A12
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-84132


  • atmospheric flows
  • large-eddy simulations
  • turbulent entrainment
  • wind farm aerodynamics


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