Numerical prediction of wind flow over complex terrain with shallow and steep hills

Date

2015-08

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Abstract

The understanding of atmospheric flows is important as there is a great increase in the demand for production of wind energy. This increased demand in wind energy market makes it necessary for the need of advanced numerical modeling techniques to analyze the atmospheric flows for predicting and optimizing the energy production in wind farms. The aim of this research is to simulate and analyze the wind flow over complex terrain using Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equation (RANS). Three 2-equation turbulence models (k-ϵ, k-ω and SST) have been evaluated on turbulent flows over complex terrains. The models are validated over two different types of topographies before they are applied to analyze the wind flows over a real terrain. The focus is given to analyze the velocity profiles in wind farms which are prominent when considering the energy availability. The discretization of the mesh is considered to show a comprehensive analysis by capturing the variations in flow field near the surface boundary layer. The numerical simulations are carried out based on the finite volume method (FVM) for discretization and considering a constant surface roughness length all over the domain. The results predicted by all three turbulence models show a good agreement in determining the wind flows over complex terrain. However, all the turbulent properties are not accurately modeled; this research demonstrates the advantages and usefulness of RANS technique by comparing three 2-equation turbulence models for the applications in wind energy.

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Keywords

RANS, Topography, FVM

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