Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Ayodeji Demuren

Committee Member

Krishna Kaipa

Committee Member

Xiaoyu Zhang

Committee Member

Brett Newman


Dominion Virginia Energy is looking at the possible creation of an offshore wind plant as a renewable source of electricity to be located off the coast of Virginia Beach. This thesis reports on a computer simulation based on local wind conditions and possible single wind turbine installation.

The National Buoy Data Center keeps records of the local wind conditions gathered in real time and available to the public. These data give a general overview of the wind conditions in Virginia Beach which is used to simulate atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) flow conditions and is subsequently used as input data for different test cases for wind turbine simulations. The program used to simulate the turbine is Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA) developed by NREL. SOWFA is based on the open source CFD code OpenFoam.

With current studies and data from other wind plants, certain expectations and predictions can be made for local power generation. Local wind used in a general turbine energy output equation shows that most turbine energy is generated between 11 m/s and 12 m/s over the span of a year. The simulations created with a speed slightly over the rated speed of 11.4 m/s produced the turbines max power output of the expected 5 MW. Combining the knowledge of local data producing the majority of power at its rated speed and simulations producing 5 MW of power at this speed help confirm the importance of creating an offshore turbine.


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