A fast two-dimensional numerical method for the wake simulation of a vertical axis wind turbine

Zheng Yuan, Jin Jiang, Jun Zang, Qihu Sheng, Ke Sun, Xuewei Zhang, Renwei Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


In the array design of the vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT), the wake effect of the upstream VAWT on the downstream VAWT needs to be considered. In order to simulate the velocity distribution of a VAWT wake rapidly, a new two-dimensional numerical method is proposed, which can make the array design easier and faster. In this new approach, the finite vortex method and vortex particle method are combined to simulate the generation and evolution of the vortex, respectively, the fast multipole method (FMM) is used to accelerate the calculation. Based on a characteristic of the VAWT wake, that is, the velocity distribution can be fitted into a power-law function, a new correction model is introduced to correct the three-dimensional effect of the VAWT wake. Finally, the simulation results can be approximated to the published experimental results in the first-order. As a new numerical method to simulate the complex VAWT wake, this paper proves the feasibility of the method and makes a preliminary validation. This method is not used to simulate the complex three-dimensional turbulent evolution but to simulate the velocity distribution quickly and relatively accurately, which meets the requirement for rapid simulation in the preliminary array design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51879064, No. U1706227, No. 51979062).


  • Finite vortex method
  • Three-dimensional effect correction model of the wake
  • Two-dimensional wake simulation
  • Vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT)
  • Vortex particle method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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