Wind Turbine Partial Wake Merging Description and Quantification

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Wind Energy

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Individual turbine location within a wind plant defines the flow characterisitcs experienced by a given turbine. Irregular turbine arrays and inflow misalignment can reduce plant efficiency by producing highly asymmetric wakes with enhanced downstream longevity. Changes in wake dynamics as a result of turbine position were quantified in a wind tunnel experiment. Scale model turbines with a rotor diameter of 20 cm and a hub height of 24 cm were placed in symmetric, asymmetric, and rotated configurations. Simultaneous hub height velocity measurements were recorded at 11 spanwise locations for three distances downstream of the turbine array under two inflow conditions. Wake interactions are described in terms of the time‐average streamwise velocity and turbulence intensity as well as the displacement, momentum, and energy thicknesses. The effects of wake merging on power generation are quantified, and the two‐point correlation is used to examine symmetry in the mean velocity between wakes. The results indicate that both asymmetric and rotated wind plant arrangements can produce long‐lasting wakes. At shallow angles, rotated configurations compound the effects of asymmetric arrangements and greatly increase downstream wake persistence.


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