In this study, large-eddy simulations (LESs) were performed to investigate the effects of changing wind direction on the turbine wakes and associated power losses in the Horns Rev offshore wind farm. In the LES framework, the turbulent subgrid-scale stresses are parameterized using a tuning-free Lagrangian scale-dependent dynamic model, and the turbine-induced forces are computed using a dynamic actuator-disk model with rotation (ADM-R). This dynamic ADM-R couples blade-element theory with a turbine-specific relation between the blade angular velocity and the shaft torque to compute simultaneously turbine angular velocity and power output. A total of 67 simulations were performed for a wide range of wind direction angles. Results from the simulations show a strong impact of wind direction on the spatial distribution of turbine-wake characteristics, such as velocity deficit and turbulence intensity. This can be explained by the fact that changing the wind angle can be viewed as changing the wind farm layout relative to the incoming wind, while keeping the same wind turbine density. Of particular importance is the effect of wind direction on the distance available for the wakes to recover and expand before encountering other downwind turbines (in full-wake or partial-wake interactions), which affects the power losses from those turbines. As a result, even small changes in wind direction angle can have strong impacts on the total wind farm power output. For example, a change in wind direction of just 10 from the worst-case full-wake condition is found to increase the total power output by as much as 43%. This has important implications for the design of wind farms and the management of the temporal variability of their power output.
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