Journal cover Journal topic
Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2017-33
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research articles
28 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES).
Large-Eddy Simulation Sensitivities to Variations of Configuration and Forcing Parameters in Canonical Boundary-Layer Flows for Wind Energy Applications
Jeffrey D. Mirocha1, Matthew J. Churchfield2, Domingo Muñoz-Esparza4,a, Raj K. Rai3, Yan Feng5, Branko Kosović9, Sue Ellen Haupt9, Barbara Brown9, Brandon L. Ennis6, Caroline Draxl2, Javier Sanz Rodrigo7, William J. Shaw3, Larry K. Berg3, Patrick J. Moriarty2, Rodman R. Linn4, Veerabhadra R. Kotamarthi5, Ramesh Balakrishnan5, Joel W. Cline8, Michael C. Robinson2,8, and Shreyas Ananthan8,b 1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, 94550, USA
2National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 80401, USA
3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99354, USA
4Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA
5Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, 60439, USA
6Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, 87185, USA
7Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables, Sarriguren, Navarra, 31621E, Spain
8United States Department of Energy, Wind Energy Technology Office, Washington DC, 20585, USA
9National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
acurrently at: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
bcurrently at: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 80401, USA
Abstract. The sensitivities of idealized Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) to variations of model configuration and forcing parameters on quantities of interest to wind power applications are examined. Simulated wind speed, turbulent fluxes, spectra and cospectra are assessed in relation to variations of two physical factors, geostrophic wind speed and surface roughness length, and several model configuration choices, including mesh size and grid aspect ratio, turbulence model, and numerical discretization schemes, in three different code bases. Two case studies representing nearly steady neutral and convective atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) flow conditions over nearly flat and homogeneous terrain were used to force and assess idealized LES, using periodic lateral boundary conditions. Comparison with fast-response velocity measurements at five heights within the lowest 50 m indicates that most model configurations performed similarly overall, with differences between observed and predicted wind speed generally smaller than measurement variability. Simulations of convective conditions produced turbulence quantities and spectra that matched the observations well, while those of neutral simulations produced good predictions of stress, but smaller than observed magnitudes of turbulence kinetic energy, likely due to tower wakes influencing the measurements. While sensitivities to model configuration choices and variability in forcing can be considerable, idealized LES are shown to reliably reproduce quantities of interest to wind energy applications within the lower ABL during quasi-ideal, nearly steady neutral and convective conditions over nearly flat and homogeneous terrain.

Citation: Mirocha, J. D., Churchfield, M. J., Muñoz-Esparza, D., Rai, R. K., Feng, Y., Kosović, B., Haupt, S. E., Brown, B., Ennis, B. L., Draxl, C., Sanz Rodrigo, J., Shaw, W. J., Berg, L. K., Moriarty, P. J., Linn, R. R., Kotamarthi, V. R., Balakrishnan, R., Cline, J. W., Robinson, M. C., and Ananthan, S.: Large-Eddy Simulation Sensitivities to Variations of Configuration and Forcing Parameters in Canonical Boundary-Layer Flows for Wind Energy Applications, Wind Energ. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2017-33, in review, 2017.
Jeffrey D. Mirocha et al.
Jeffrey D. Mirocha et al.
Jeffrey D. Mirocha et al.

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