Quantification of the Axial Induction Exerted by Utility-Scale Wind Turbines by Coupling LiDAR Measurements and RANS Simulations

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Institute of Physics Publishing

The axial induction exerted by utility-scale wind turbines for different operative and atmospheric conditions is estimated by coupling ground-based LiDAR measurements and RANS simulations. The LiDAR data are thoroughly post-processed in order to average the wake velocity fields by using as common reference frame their respective wake directions and the turbine hub location. The various LiDAR scans are clustered according to their incoming wind speed at hub height and atmospheric stability regime, namely Bulk Richardson number. Time-averaged velocity fields are then calculated as ensemble averages of the scans belonging to the same cluster. The LiDAR measurements are coupled with RANS simulations in order to estimate the rotor axial induction for each cluster of the LiDAR data. First, a control volume analysis of the streamwise momentum is applied to the time-averaged LiDAR velocity fields to obtain an initial estimate of the axial induction over the rotor disk. The calculated thrust force is imposed as forcing of an axisymmetric RANS simulation in order to estimate pressure, radial velocity and momentum fluxes. The latter are combined with the LiDAR streamwise velocity field in order to refine the estimate of the rotor axial induction through the control volume approach. This process is repeated iteratively until achieving convergence on the rotor axial induction while minimizing difference between LiDAR and RANS streamwise velocity fields. This procedure allows to single out the reduction in thrust load while the blade pitch angle is increased transitioning from region 2 to 3 of the power curve. Furthermore, an enhanced thrust force is observed for a fixed incoming wind speed and transitioning from stable to convective stability regimes. The presented technique is proposed as a data-driven alternative to the blade element momentum theory typically used with current actuator disk models in order to quantify rotor aerodynamic thrust for different operative and atmospheric conditions. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

Actuators, Iterative methods (Mathematics), Momentum (Mechanics), Navier Stokes equations, Torque, Transpiration (Physics), Speed, Wakes (Aerodynamics), Winds, Wind turbines, Wind turbines—Aerodynamics, Optical radar
NSF CBET grant 1705837; National Science Foundation under Grant Number IIP-1362022.
CC BY 3.0 (Attribution), ©2018 The Authors