GPU Based Fast Free-Wake Calculations For Multiple Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Rotors

Turkal M., Novikov Y., Usenmez S., SEZER UZOL N., UZOL O.

5th Science of Making Torque from Wind Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 18 - 20 June 2014, vol.524 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 524
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1742-6596/524/1/012100
  • City: Copenhagen
  • Country: Denmark
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Unsteady free-wake solutions of wind turbine flow fields involve computationally intensive interaction calculations, which generally limit the total amount of simulation time or the number of turbines that can be simulated by the method. This problem, however, can be addressed easily using high-level of parallelization. Especially when exploited with a GPU, a Graphics Processing Unit, this property can provide a significant computational speed-up, rendering the most intensive engineering problems realizable in hours of computation time. This paper presents the results of the simulation of the flow field for the NREL Phase VI turbine using a GPU-based in-house free-wake panel method code. Computational parallelism involved in the free-wake methodology is exploited using a GPU, allowing thousands of similar operations to be performed simultaneously. The results are compared to experimental data as well as to those obtained by running a corresponding CPU-based code. Results show that the GPU based code is capable of producing wake and load predictions similar to the CPU-based code and in a substantially reduced amount of time. This capability could allow free-wake based analysis to be used in the possible design and optimization studies of wind farms as well as prediction of multiple turbine flow fields and the investigation of the effects of using different vortex core models, core expansion and stretching models on the turbine rotor interaction problems in multiple turbine wake flow fields.