Physics of Fluids
Wind turbines -- Aerodynamics
A 4 × 3 wind turbine array in a Cartesian arrangement was constructed in a wind tunnel setting with four configurations based on the rotational sense of the rotor blades. The fourth row of devices is considered to be in the fully developed turbine canopy for a Cartesian arrangement. Measurements of the flow field were made with stereo particle-image velocimetry immediately upstream and downstream of the selected model turbines. Rotational sense of the turbine blades is evident in the mean spanwise velocity W and the Reynolds shear stress −vw. The flux of kinetic energy is shown to be of greater magnitude following turbines in arrays where direction of rotation of the blades varies. Invariants of the normalized Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor (η and ξ) are plotted in the Lumley triangle and indicate that distinct characters of turbulence exist in regions of the wake following the nacelle and the rotor blade tips. Eigendecomposition of the tensor yields principle components and corresponding coordinate system transformations. Characteristic spheroids representing the balance of components in the normalized anisotropy tensor are composed with the eigenvalues yielding shapes predicted by the Lumley triangle. Rotation of the coordinate system defined by the eigenvectors demonstrates trends in the streamwise coordinate following the rotors, especially trailing the top-tip of the rotor and below the hub. Direction of rotation of rotor blades is shown by the orientation of characteristic spheroids according to principle axes. In the inflows of exit row turbines, the normalized Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor shows cumulative effects of the upstream turbines, tending toward prolate shapes for uniform rotational sense, oblate spheroids for streamwise organization of rotational senses, and a mixture of characteristic shapes when the rotation varies by row. Comparison between the invariants of the Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor and terms from the mean mechanical energy equation indicate correlation between the degree of anisotropy and the regions of the wind turbine wakes where turbulence kinetic energy is produced. The flux of kinetic energy into the momentum-deficit area of the wake from above the canopy is associated with prolate characteristic spheroids. Flux upward into the wake from below the rotor area is associated with oblate characteristic spheroids. Turbulence in the region of the flow directly following the nacelle of the wind turbines demonstrates greater isotropy than regions following the rotor blades. The power and power coefficients for wind turbines indicate that flow structures on the order of magnitude of the spanwise turbine spacing that increase turbine efficiency depending on particular array configuration.
Hamilton, N., & Cal, R. B. (2015). Anisotropy of the Reynolds stress tensor in the wakes of wind turbine arrays in Cartesian arrangements with counter-rotating rotors. Physics of Fluids (1994-present), 27(1), 015102.