Computing turbulent far-wake development behind a wind turbine with and without swirl

Yingying Hu, Siva Parameswaran, Jiannan Tan, Suranga Dharmarathne, Neha Marathe, Zixi Chen, Ronald Grife, Andrew Swift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Modeling swirling wakes is of considerable interest to wind farm designers. The present work is an attempt to develop a computational tool to understand free, far-wake development behind a single rotating wind turbine. Besides the standard momentum and continuity equations from the boundary layer theory in two dimensions, an additional equation for the conservation of angular momentum is introduced to study axisymmetric swirl effects on wake growth. Turbulence is simulated with two options: the standard k-e model and the Reynolds Stress transport model. A finite volume method is used to discretize the governing equations for mean flow and turbulence quantities. A marching algorithm of expanding grids is employed to enclose the growing far-wake and to solve the equations implicitly at every axial step. Axisymmetric far-wakes with/without swirl are studied at different Reynolds numbers and swirl numbers. Wake characteristics such as wake width, half radius, velocity profiles and pressure profiles are computed. Compared with the results obtained under similar flow conditions using the computational software, FLUENT, this far-wake model shows simplicity with acceptable accuracy, covering large wake regions in far-wake study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Boundary layer
  • Far wake
  • K-e model
  • Reynolds stress transport model
  • Self-similarity
  • Swirl


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