A new analysis method to calculate the rotor-induced average tower drag of downwind turbines in the blade element momentum (BEM) method was developed in this study. The method involves two parts: calculation of the wind speed distribution using computational fluid dynamics, with the rotor modeled as a uniform loaded actuator disc, and calculation of the tower drag via the strip theory. The latter calculation considers two parameters, that is, the decrease in wind speed and the pressure gradient caused by the rotor thrust. The present method was validated by a wind tunnel test. Unlike the former BEM, which assumes the tower drag to be constant, the results obtained by the proposed method demonstrate much better agreement with the results of the wind tunnel test, with an accuracy of 30%.
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