First Advisor

Raúl Bayoán Cal

Date of Publication

Spring 6-14-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

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


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Wakes (Aerodynamics) -- Mathematical models, Turbines -- Design, Turbulence -- Measurement, Wind power -- Mathematical models



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 37 pages)


Tilting the nacelle of a wind turbine modifies entrainment into the wind plant and impacts total efficiency. Extreme angles can produce flying and crashing wakes where the wake either disrupts entertainment from the undisturbed flow above or is decimated on the ground. The effect of tilt angle on downstream wake behavior was investigated in a series of wind tunnel experiments. Scale model turbines with a hub height and diameter of 12 cm were arranged in a Cartesian array comprised of four rows of three turbines each. Nacelle tilt was varied in the third row from -15° to 15° in chosen 5° increments. Stereo PIV 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 field, wall-normal velocity field, Reynolds stresses, and mean vertical transport of kinetic energy. Conditional sampling is used to quantify the importance of sweep vs. ejection events and thus downwards vs. upwards momentum transfer. Additionally, wake center displacement and changes in net power are presented and compared to existing models. The results demonstrate large variations in wake velocity and vertical displacement with enhanced vertical energy and momentum transfer for negative tilt angles. Simulation models accurately predict wake deflection while analytic models deviate considerably highlighting the difficulties in describing tilt phenomena. Negative angles successfully produce crashing wakes and improve the availability of kinetic energy thereby improving the power output of the wind plant.

Persistent Identifier