Windbreak effects within infinite wind farms

Nicolas Tobin, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building upon a recent study that showed windbreaks to be effective in increasing the power output of a wind turbine, the potential of windbreaks in a large wind farm is explored using simplified formulations. A top-down boundary layer approach is combined with methods of estimating both the roughness effects of windbreaks and the induced inviscid speed-up for nearby turbines to investigate power production impact for several layouts of infinite wind farms. Results suggest that the negative impact of windbreak wakes for an infinite wind farm will outweigh the local inviscid speed-up for realistic inter-Turbine spacings, with the break-even point expected at a spacing of 25 rotor diameters. However, the possibility that windbreaks may be applicable in finite and other wind farm configurations remains open. Inspection of the windbreak porosity reveals an impact on the magnitude of power perturbation, but not whether the change is positive or negative. Predictions from the boundary-layer approach are validated with power measurements from large-eddy simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1140
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Atmospheric boundary layer
  • Wind energy
  • Windbreak

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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