The present work proposes an experimental methodology to characterize the unsteady properties of a wind turbine wake, called meandering, and particularly its ability to follow the large-scale motions induced by large turbulent eddies contained in the approach flow. The measurements were made in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel. The wind turbine model is based on the actuator disc concept. One part of the work has been dedicated to the development of a methodology for horizontal wake tracking by mean of a transverse hot wire rake, whose dynamic response is adequate for spectral analysis. Spectral coherence analysis shows that the horizontal position of the wake correlates well with the upstream transverse velocity, especially for wavelength larger than three times the diameter of the disc but less so for smaller scales. Therefore, it is concluded that the wake is actually a rather passive tracer of the large surrounding turbulent structures. The influence of the rotor size and downstream distance on the wake meandering is studied. The fluctuations of the lateral force and the yawing torque affecting the wind turbine model are also measured and correlated with the wake meandering. Two approach flow configurations are then tested: an undisturbed incoming flow (modelled atmospheric boundary layer) and a disturbed incoming flow, with a wind turbine model located upstream. Results showed that the meandering process is amplified by the presence of the upstream wake. It is shown that the coherence between the lateral force fluctuations and the horizontal wake position is significant up to length scales larger than twice the wind turbine model diameter. This leads to the conclusion that the lateral force is a better candidate than the upstream transverse velocity to predict in real time the meandering process, for either undisturbed (wake free) or disturbed incoming atmospheric flows.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 3, 2015
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