First Advisor

Raúl Bayoán Cal

Date of Publication

Spring 4-30-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Anisotropy -- Mathematical models, Turbulence -- Measurement, Wind energy conversion systems -- Design



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 82 pages)


A wind turbine array was constructed in the wind tunnel at Portland State University in a standard Cartesian arrangement. Configurations of the turbine array were tested with rotor blades set to rotate in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise sense. Measurements of velocity were made with stereo particle-image velocimetry. Mean statistics of velocities and Reynolds stresses clearly show the effect of direction of rotation of rotor blades for both entrance and exit row turbines. Rotational sense of the turbine blades is visible in the mean spanwise velocity W and the Reynolds shear stress -[macron over vw]. The normalized anisotropy tensor was decomposed yielding invariants [lowercase eta] and [lowercase xi], which are plotted onto the Lumley triangle. Invariants of the normalized Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor 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 are composed with the eigenvalues from the decomposition yielding shapes predicted by the Lumley triangle. Rotation of the coordinate system defined by the eigenvectors demonstrates streamwise trends, especially trailing the top rotor tip and below the hub of the rotors. Direction of rotation of rotor blades is evidenced in the orientation of characteristic spheroids according to principle axes. The characteristic spheroids of the anisotropy tensor and their relate alignments varies between cases clearly seen in the inflows to exit row turbines. There the normalized Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor shows cumulative effects of the rotational sense of upstream turbines. Comparison between the invariants of the Reynolds stress anisotropy tensor and terms from the mean mechanical energy equation indicate a 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 associate with oblate characteristic spheroids. Turbulence in the region of the flow directly following the nacelle of the wind turbines demonstrates more isotropy compared to the 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.


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