Actuator line simulations of wind turbine wakes using the lattice Boltzmann method
Wind Energy Science
Abstract. The high computational demand of large-eddy simulations (LESs) remains the biggest obstacle for a wider applicability of the method in the field of wind energy. Recent progress of GPU-based (graphics processing unit) lattice Boltzmann frameworks provides significant performance gains alleviating such constraints. The presented work investigates the potential of LES of wind turbine wakes using the cumulant lattice Boltzmann method (CLBM). The wind turbine is represented by the actuator
... ted by the actuator line model (ALM). The implementation is validated and discussed by means of a code-to-code comparison to an established finite-volume Navier–Stokes solver. To this end, the ALM is subjected to both laminar and turbulent inflow while a standard Smagorinsky sub-grid-scale model is employed in the two numerical approaches. The resulting wake characteristics are discussed in terms of the first- and second-order statistics as well the spectra of the turbulence kinetic energy. The near-wake characteristics in laminar inflow are shown to match closely with differences of less than 3 % in the wake deficit. Larger discrepancies are found in the far wake and relate to differences in the point of the laminar-turbulent transition of the wake. In line with other studies, these differences can be attributed to the different orders of accuracy of the two methods. Consistently better agreement is found in turbulent inflow due to the lower impact of the numerical scheme on the wake transition. In summary, the study outlines the feasibility of wind turbine simulations using the CLBM and further validates the presented set-up. Furthermore, it highlights the computational potential of GPU-based LBM implementations for wind energy applications. For the presented cases, near-real-time performance was achieved using a single, off-the-shelf GPU on a local workstation.