Large-scale wind turbine installations are sited using layouts based on site topology, real estate costs and restrictions, and turbine power output. Existing optimization programs have limited capabilities to site multiple turbines and are based on simple geometric turbine wake models, which typically overestimate individual turbine output. Alternatively, complete CFD modeling of entire wind turbine fields requires enormous computational resources, which has led to the development of blade modeling techniques which are combined with CFD field computations. The most promising method, using the actuator line model, typically uses an exponential function to spread blade forces over CFD grid points. In addition, little development work has been performed to determine the optimal grid point density and force spreading radius for these methods.

In this paper, we report on our ongoing efforts to develop an advanced actuator line formulation which uses an alternate geometric method for distributing blade forces to the CFD field. Domain and blade force application parameters are currently being developed to determine optimum run time conditions for the new actuator line model. The Actuator line method is implemented using the parallel CFD program, NEK5000. NEK5000 is an advanced Navier Stokes code which uses spectral methods for the spatial discretization, and has been proven to provide high-resolution results with significantly reduced compute resources. A Large Eddy Simulation turbulence model is used. In this paper, we report on our current work using large scale supercomputer resources at the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) to perform computational experiments to validate our codes, and perform parametric studies to develop optimum run time parameters. Development and verification work is centered around domain size, grid spacing and clustering, and development of steady state conditions. The parametric studies are underway and are based on investigating various selection volume and force application point settings. Continuing work will compare the new actuator line method with a traditional exponential force distribution model.

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