An open source CFD study of air flow over complex terrain

Sylvie Fabre, Thomas Scanlon, Matthew Stickland, Andrew Oldroyd

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This paper presents an open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study of air flow over a complex terrain. The open source C++ toolbox OpenFOAM has been used for the CFD analysis and the terrain considered is a scale model of Berlengas Island, which lies close to the Portuguese coast. In order to validate the CFD model, experimental work has been carried out in an open-section wind tunnel using hot-wire anemometry to measure the wind profiles above the island. In the majority of cases, the OpenFOAM CFD solutions show very good agreement with the experimental wind profile data, confirming that open source CFD solutions are possible for environmental flows over complex terrain.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalWind Energy
Publication statusUnpublished - Oct 2011
Event28th International Symposium on Shock Waves - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 201122 Jul 2011


  • CFD
  • open source
  • validation
  • experimental
  • wind
  • complex terrain


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