Validation of four LES and a vortex model against stereo-PIV measurements in the near wake of an actuator disc and a wind turbine

Lorenzo Lignarolo, Dhruv Metha, R.J.A.M. Stevens, A.E. Yilmaz, Gijs van Kuik, SJ Andersen, C. Meneveau, Carlos Simao Ferreira, Daniele Ragni, J Meyers, Gerard van Bussel, Jessica Holierhoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we report the results of a workshop organised by the Delft University of Technology in 2014,
aiming at the comparison between different state-of-the-art numerical models for the simulation of
wind turbine wakes. The chosen benchmark case is a wind tunnel measurement, where stereoscopic
Particle Image Velocimetry was employed to obtain the velocity field and turbulence statistics in the near
wake of a two-bladed wind turbine model and of a porous disc, which mimics the numerical actuator
used in the simulations. Researchers have been invited to simulate the experimental case based on the
disc drag coefficient and the inflow characteristics. Four large eddy simulation (LES) codes from different
institutions and a vortex model are part of the comparison. The purpose of this benchmark is to validate
the numerical predictions of the flow field statistics in the near wake of an actuator disc, a case that is
highly relevant for full wind farm applications. The comparison has shown that, despite its extreme
simplicity, the vortex model is capable of reproducing the wake expansion and the centreline velocity
with very high accuracy. Also all tested LES models are able to predict the velocity deficit in the very near
wake well, contrary to what was expected from previous literature. However, the resolved velocity
fluctuations in the LES are below the experimentally measured values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510–523
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Horizontal axis wind turbine
  • Wind turbine wake
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Actuator disc
  • LES validation


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