This work is devoted to perform systematic sensitivity analysis of different
turbulence models and various incoming wind conditions in predicting the wake flow
behind a horizontal-axis wind turbine represented by an actuator disc (AD). The tested
turbulence models are the standard k−∈ model and the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM).
Employing each turbulence model, the wind turbine immersed in four inflow conditions,
including both uniform and non-uniform ones, is numerically studied. Simulation
results are validated against Sexbierum field experimental data. Comparisons
show that k−∈ model is much more sensitive to the employed inflow conditions, with
simulated wake velocity and turbulence profiles strongly differ from one condition to
another; among them, a uniform TI & Length scale condition delivers the most accurate
predictions. By contrast, comparisons identify that RSM is less sensitive to the
inflow condition implemented, the results under all inflow conditions are consistently
in fair match with the measurements; the RSM is found to be more robust for capturing
wake behavior reliably when using the AD/RANS approach.