First Advisor

Raúl Bayoán Cal

Date of Publication

Winter 3-25-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

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


Mechanical and Materials Engineering




Whirlwinds, Wind turbines, Wakes (Aerodynamics), Turbulence -- Measurement



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 61 pages)


Vortex identification techniques are used to analyze the flow structure in a 4 x 3 array of scale model wind turbines. Q-criterion, Δ-criterion, and λ2-criterion are applied to Particle Image Velocimetry data gathered fore and aft of the last row centerline turbine. Q-criterion and λ2-criterion provide a clear indication of regions where vortical activity exists while the Δ-criterion does not. Galilean decomposition, Reynolds decomposition, vorticity, and swirling strength are used to further understand the location and behavior 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 enveloping vortex regions in agreement with the identification criteria. The Galilean decompositions are 20% and 50% of a convective velocity of 7 m/s. As the vortices convect downstream, these vortices weaken in magnitude to approximately 25% of those present in the near wake. A high level of vortex activity is visualized as a result of the top tip of the wind turbine blade; the location where the highest vertical entrainment commences.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier