Characterizing Tilt Effects on Wind Plants

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Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy

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Tilting the nacelle of a wind turbine modifies entrainment into the wind plant and impacts total efficiency. Wakes are deflected vertically by tilt and in the case of large angles can disrupt entertainment from the undisturbed flow or dissipate on the ground. The effect of nacelle tilt on wake behavior is investigated in a series of wind tunnel experiments for the first time. Scale model turbines with a hub height and a diameter of 12 cm are arranged in a Cartesian array composed of four rows of three turbines each. The tilt angle was varied in the third turbine row from −15° to 15° in chosen 5° increments. Stereo particle image velocimetry measurements of the instantaneous velocity field were recorded at four locations for each angle. Tilted wakes are described in terms of the average streamwise velocity, vertical velocity, and Reynolds stresses. Mean kinetic energy quantities are presented, and conditional sampling is employed to quantify the importance of sweep to ejection events in vertical momentum transfer. Additionally, the effect of nacelle tilt on net power production is presented and compared to existing models. Numerical simulations accurately predict losses in net efficiency for positive angles but diverge for negative tilt angles. The results demonstrate that the tilt angle influences wake magnitude, displacement, and recovery. Positive angles deflect wakes above the wind plant, while negative angles encourage entrainment into the wind plant and exhibit rapid recovery.


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