Data-driven turbulence modeling for wind turbine wakes under neutral conditions

Julia Steiner*, Richard Dwight, Axelle Viré

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Currently, the state of the art in wind farm flow physics modeling are Large Eddy Simulations (LES) which resolve a large part of the spectra of the turbulent fluctuations. But this type of model requires extensive computational resources. One wind speed and direction simulation of the Lillgrund wind farm can take between 160k and 3000k processor hours depending on how the turbines are modeled [1, 2]. The next-fidelity model types are Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) models which resolve only the mean quantities and model the effect of turbulence fluctuations. These models require about two orders of magnitude less computational time, but generally do not produce accurate predictions of the mean flow field. Proposed modifications made to these models so far do not generalize well and there is room for improvement. Hence, we present the first steps towards using a data-driven approach to aid in deriving new RANS models that generalize well to different turbine types, varying atmospheric stability, and farm layouts. To do so, time-averaged LES data is used to derive corrections to existing RANS models. The approach uses a deterministic symbolic regression method to infer algebraic correction terms to the RANS turbulence transport equations. Optimal correction terms to the RANS equations are derived using a frozen approach where time-averaged flow fields from LES are injected into the RANS equations. The potential of the approach is demonstrated under neutral conditions for multi-turbine constellations at wind-tunnel scale. The results show promise, but more work is necessary to realize the full potential of the approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062051
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2020
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind 2020, TORQUE 2020 - Online, Virtual, Online, Netherlands
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020


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