Wind-turbine wake models are used in the design of wind farms, to optimise the choice of turbine model, and the layout of the turbines. They're also sometimes used in the operation of wind farms, to maximise generation.

What is the evidence on the accuracy of the wind turbine wake models?

I'm primary interested in accuracy with specific regard to maximising windfarm profitability: that is to say, judging their accuracy from the perspective of their objectives when used in wind farm design and operation. If there aren't studies looking at their accuracy with regard to maximising generation at lowest cost, then some other measure of accuracy would be acceptable: at worst, something like root mean square error (as unsatisfactory as it is in this context).

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    Cringely had an interesting article on this back in May: cringely.com/2016/05/06/15262 – Paul Dubuc Sep 21 '16 at 21:19
  • You ask for a recent study - is there an older study? Looking at the author/institution or citations of the older study could lead to an updated version. – LShaver Feb 4 '17 at 22:00

Seim, Gravdahl, and Adaramola compared three kinematic wake models to actual wind farm data in their 2017 paper "Validation of kinematic wind turbine wake models in complex terrain using actual windfarm production data".

The article is behind a paywall, but some of the results are indicated in the abstract:

[T]he accuracy of the Jensen-, Larsen- and Ishihara model are tested in eight single-wake cases with regard to several key aspects. [...] The Larsen model correlated well with the measured data regarding the normalized power deficit, while both the Jensen- and Ishihara model clearly overestimated the power deficit. At the wake centerline, the Larsen model was by far the most accurate, with a mean absolute error of 7%. The Jensen- and Ishihara model had a mean absolute error of 21% and 34% respectively. Both the Jensen- and Ishihara model agreed well with the observed wake width. The Larsen model widely overestimated the wake width in all cases, but with an almost constant offset. For the energy loss in the wake, the Larsen model performed best for the three investigated wake cases with a mean absolute error of 29%, although all the three wake models showed a varying performance with a tendency to underestimate the energy loss.

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