Modeling the wakes of wind turbines and rotorcraft using the actuator-line method in an OpenFOAM - LES solver

Sven Schmitz, Pankaj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

1 Scopus citations


The Actuator Line Method (ALM) has evolved to become the technology standard in the wind energy community for modeling the wakes of single wind turbines as well as arrays of wind turbines and wind farms immersed in an atmospheric boundary-layer flow. This work presents the ALM embedded into an OpenFOAM-LES solver (ALM/LES) and applies it to relevant problems in the wind energy and rotorcraft communities. The wind energy application concerns a turbine-turbine interaction problem, and it is shown that the ALM/LES solver is capable of modeling the wakes of wind turbines and their interaction. A rotorcraft application concerns using the ALM concept to generate a simplified model of a notional helicopter rotor hub and predicting its wake. It is demonstrated that the ALM/LES solver captures the dominant per-rev flow structures far downstream of a model rotor hub. The ALM/LES technology is a promising and computationally efficient method of predicting spatial and temporal content in the wakes of rotor blades and hubs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2228-2235
Number of pages8
JournalAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
StatePublished - Sep 9 2013
Event69th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum 2013 -
Duration: May 21 2013May 23 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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