Using High-Fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics to Help Design a Wind Turbine Wake Measurement Experiment

M. Churchfield, Q. Wang, A. Scholbrock, T. Herges, T. Mikkelsen, M. Sjöholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus Citations


We describe the process of using large-eddy simulations of wind turbine wake flow to help design a wake measurement campaign. The main goal of the experiment is to measure wakes and wake deflection that result from intentional yaw misalignment under a variety of atmospheric conditions at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility operated by Sandia National Laboratories in Lubbock, Texas. Prior simulation studies have shown that wake deflection may be used for wind-plant control that maximizes plant power output. In this study, simulations are performed to characterize wake deflection and general behavior before the experiment is performed to ensure better upfront planning. Beyond characterizing the expected wake behavior, we also use the large-eddy simulation to test a virtual version of the lidar we plan to use to measure the wake and better understand our lidar scan strategy options. This work is an excellent example of a "simulation-in-the-loop" measurement campaign.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 032009
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2016
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2016 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 5 Oct 20167 Oct 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-66857


  • experiment
  • lidar
  • scaled wind farm technology
  • simulation
  • SWiFT
  • wind turbine wakes


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