The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: "Boundary Layer Turbulence and Reduced Models of Wind Farms"


Friday, February 26, 2021 - 10:00am


Professor Charles Meneveau, Johns Hopkins University




Zoom Link:

In this presentation we discuss several properties of the flow structure and turbulence in the wind turbine array boundary layer (WTABL). This particular type of shear flow develops when the atmospheric boundary layer interacts with an array of large wind turbines1. Based on such understanding, we aim to develop (severely) reduced-order, analytically tractable models. These are important engineering tools for wind energy, both for design and control purposes. We review some basic tools to predict mean velocity distributions for power optimization in wind farms and describe the recently proposed Area-Localized-Coupled (ALC) model2. The ALC model uses Voronoi tesselation to define a local area around each turbine. A top-down description of a developing internal boundary layer is coupled to a wake superposition (bottom-up) model3. Detailed comparisons to large-eddy simulation (LES) data from NREL for a circular wind farm, and LES for a hybrid array-random wind farm, are performed. Results indicate the model’s versatility with respect to capturing results from different turbine layout configurations and wind directions.

The work to be presented arose from collaborations with Genevieve Starke (JHU), Dennice Gayme (JHU), and Jennifer King (NREL), and is heavily based also on earlier joint work with Carl Shapiro (now at DOE), Richard Stevens (now at Twente U, NL), Marc Calaf (now at Univ. Utah), and Johan Meyers (KU Leuven, B). We are grateful to the US National Science Foundation for financial support.


Charles Meneveau is the Louis M. Sardella Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is Associate Director of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES).  His area of research is focused on understanding and modeling hydrodynamic turbulence, and complexity in fluid mechanics in general. The insights that have emerged from Professor Meneveau’s work have led to new numerical models for Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and applications in engineering and environmental flows, including wind farms. He also focuses on developing methods to share the very large data sets that arise in computational fluid dynamics.  He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Valparaíso, Chile, in 1985 and M.S, M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1987, 1988 and 1989, respectively. During 1989/90 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Turbulence Research at Stanford. He has been on the Johns Hopkins University faculty since 1990.  Prof. Meneveau is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Turbulence. Professor Meneveau is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a foreign corresponding member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of APS, ASME, AMS and recipient of the Stanley Corrsin Award from the APS, the JHU Alumni Association's Excellence in Teaching Award, and the APS' François N. Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics.