Wake modeling of wind turbines using machine learning

Zilong Ti, Xiao Wei Deng, Hongxing Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


In the paper, a novel framework that employs the machine learning and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulation to develop new wake velocity and turbulence models with high accuracy and good efficiency is proposed to improve the turbine wake predictions. An ANN (artificial neural network) model based on the back-propagation (BP) algorithm is designed to build the underlying spatial relationship between the inflow conditions and the three-dimensional wake flows. To save the computational cost, a reduced-order turbine model ADM-R (actuator disk model with rotation), is incorporated into RANS (Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations) simulations coupled with a modified k-ε turbulence model to provide big datasets of wake flow for training, testing, and validation of the ANN model. The numerical framework of RANS/ADM-R simulations is validated by a standalone Vestas V80 2 MW wind turbine and NTNU wind tunnel test of double aligned turbines. In the ANN-based wake model, the inflow wind speed and turbulence intensity at hub height are selected as input variables, while the spatial velocity deficit and added turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) in wake field are taken as output variables. The ANN-based wake model is first deployed to a standalone turbine, and then the spatial wake characteristics and power generation of an aligned 8-turbine row as representation of Horns Rev wind farm are also validated against Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and field measurement. The results of ANN-based wake model show good agreement with the numerical simulations and measurement data, indicating that the ANN is capable of establishing the complex spatial relationship between inflow conditions and the wake flows. The machine learning techniques can remarkably improve the accuracy and efficiency of wake predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114025
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • ADM-R (actuator-disk model with rotation) model
  • Artificial neural network (ANN)
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Machine learning
  • Wake model
  • Wind turbine wake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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