Wind turbines

Nowadays, the attention on renewable energy resources increased exponentially, with a particular focus on wind energy. We can divide the turbines in two categories: horizontal- and the vertical-axis turbines. The turbines are usually clustered in farms sometimes with a cumulative power production comparable to the one of a nuclear powerplant. However, the overall production is always lower than the one expected. The rear (or waked) turbines are impinged by an inhomogeneous and highly turbulent flow (the turbine wake), which reduces their performances.

Main research activities on Horizontal Axis Turbines:

  • Numerical simulation (LES) of wind turbines to study the wake evolution.
  • Effect of different turbulent inlet conditions on the wind turbine performances.
  • Actuator Line Model. Influence of its parameters on the wake evolution in terms of velocity field and Turbulent Kinetic Energy.

Main research activities on Vertical Axis Turbines:

  • Development of actuator models (ALM and RACM) for a commercial software (ANSYS Fluent);
  • Investigation and modeling of the Dynamic stall, a fundamental phenomenon which influences the aerodynamic of VATs;

Research group

Maria Vittoria Salvetti ,
Benedetto Rocchio

External collaborations:
Stefano Leonardi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering , University of Texas at Dallas,
Stefania Zanforlin, DESTEC, University of Pisa




Main publications:

  • Rocchio B, Chicchiero C, Salvetti M S, Zanforlin S. A simple model for deep dynamic stall conditions. Wind Energy, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/we.2463
  • Rocchio B, Ciri U, Salvetti M S, Leonardi S. Appraisal and calibration of the Actuator Line Model for the prediction of turbulent separated wakes. Wind Energy, 2020. In production. DOI:10.1002/we.2483