Vortex Identification in the Wake of a Model Wind Turbine Array

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Journal of Turbulence

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Wind turbines -- Aerodynamics, Wind turbines -- Materials -- Research -- United States, Vortex identification


Vortex identification techniques are used to analyse the wake of a 4 × 3 array of model wind turbines. The Q-criterion, Δ-criterion, and λ2-criterion are applied to particle image velocimetry data gathered fore and aft of the last row centerline turbine. The Q-criterion and λ2-criterion provide a clear indication of regions where vortical activity exists, while the Δ-criterion is not successful. Galilean decomposition, Reynolds decomposition, vorticity, and swirling strength are used to further understand the location and behaviour of the vortices. The techniques identify and display the high-magnitude vortices in high-shear zones resulting from the blade tips. Using Galilean and Reynolds decomposition, swirling motions are shown encapsuling vortex regions in agreement with the identification criteria. The Galilean decompositions selected are 20% and 50% of a convective velocity of 7 m/s. As the vortices convect downstream, the strength of the vortices decreases in magnitude, particularly in the far wake of the array, to approximately 25% of those present in the near wake. A high level of vortex activity is visualised as a result of the top tip of the wind turbine blade -- the location where the highest vertical entrainment is present. Analysing the full frame set, the Q-criterion, λ2-criterion, and swirling strength prove comparable, while the Δ-criterion under-performs in regions of high turbulence activity, namely in the back of the turbine. Entraining flow into the turbine canopy interacting with the turbine generates high-magnitude vortices concentrated at the blade tips. The count of vortices decreases when moving from the top tip down to the wall, as well as their strength for each Galilean technique when a non-zero threshold is applied. Vortex sizes in the near wake are found comparable to turbine blade, hub, and mast dimensions. In the far wake, the resulting size of the vortices is approximately 30% of those in the near wake. These vortices increase in velocity as they convect downstream, following the mean velocity behaviour. The lowest magnitude vortices reside at the hub height in the near-wake region, where they convect at nearly half the speed of those at the blade tips.


Copyright (2015) Taylor & Francis

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Unaffiliated researchers can access the work here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14685248.2015.1118109



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