A computational examination of utility scale wind turbine wakes to provide improved siting and efficiency

Tyamo Okosun, Purdue University

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of wakes and vortices generated by upstream turbines on the performance of turbine groupings. This is done by performing numerical simulations of utility scale wind turbines in various arrangements. Optimization of wind farms is an ongoing focus of research in the field of wind energy. Of great import to this field of research is determining new methods to minimize power losses due to wake interaction between upstream and downstream turbines. As a turbine extracts kinetic energy from the wind, the air passing through that turbine is slowed. This slowed air is then experienced by turbines downstream, resulting in lower performance for the wind farm. This study proposes two arrangements of turbine groups that could provide increased power generation by increasing air speed at downstream turbines. By using Computational Fluid Dynamics, simulations of a base case for each arrangement, as well as variations on the distance between turbines, are completed with minimal cost compared to the construction and operation of either wind tunnel models or a large scale experimental test. Finally, an optimum arrangement for application to utility scale wind farms is established by comparing data obtained from each simulation geometry.^

Degree

M.S.M.E.

Advisors

Chenn Q. Zhou, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Alternative Energy|Engineering, Mechanical|Energy

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