A shear stress parametrization for arbitrary wind farms in conventionally neutral boundary layers

S. Stipa, D.J.N. Allaerts, Joshua Brinkerhoff

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In the context of large off-shore wind farms, power production is influenced greatly by the turbine array's interaction with the atmospheric boundary layer. One of the most influencing manifestations of such complex interaction is the increased level of shear stress observed within the farm. This leads to higher momentum fluxes that affect the wind speed at the turbine locations and in the cluster wake. At the wind farm entrance, an internal boundary layer (IBL) grows due to the change in effective roughness imposed by the wind turbines, and for large enough clusters, this can reach the unperturbed boundary layer height in what is referred to as the fully developed regime. Downwind, a second IBL starts growing, while the shear stress profile decays exponentially to its unperturbed state. In the present study, we propose a simple analytical model for the vertical profile of the horizontal shear stress components in the three regions identified above. The model builds upon the top-down model of Meneveau (J. Turbul., vol. 13, 2012, N7), and assumes that the flow develops in a conventionally neutral boundary layer. The proposed parametrization is verified successfully against large-eddy simulations, demonstrating its ability to capture the vertical profile of horizontal shear stress, and its evolution both inside and downwind of the wind farm. Our findings suggest that the developed model can prove extremely useful to enhance the physical grounds on which new classes of coupled wind farm engineering models are based, leading to a better estimation of meso-scale phenomena affecting the power production of large turbine arrays.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA14
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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