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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The future of wind power systems deployment is in the form of wind farms comprised of scores of such large turbines, most likely at offshore locations. Individual turbines have grown in span from a few tens of meters to today’s large turbines with rotor diameters that dwarf even the largest commercial aircraft. These massive dynamical systems present unique challenges at scales unparalleled in prior applications of wind science research. Fundamental to this effort is the understanding of the wind turbine wake and its evolution. Furthermore, the optimization of the entire wind farm depends on the evolution of the wakes of different turbines and their interactions within the wind farm. In this article, we use the capabilities of the Common ODE Framework (CODEF) model for the analysis of the effects of wake–rotor and wake-to-wake interactions between two turbines situated in a tandem layout fully and partially aligned with the incoming wind. These experiments were conducted in the context of a research project supported by the National Rotor Testbed (NRT) program of Sandia National Labs (SNL). Results are presented for a layout which emulates the turbine interspace and relative turbine emplacement found at SNL’s Scaled Wind Technologies Facility (SWiFT), located in Lubbock, Texas. The evolution of the twin-wake interaction generates a very rich series of secondary transitions in the vortex structure of the combined wake. These ultimately affect the wake’s axial velocity patterns, altering the position, number, intensity, and shape of localized velocity-deficit zones in the wake’s cross-section. This complex distribution of axial velocity patterns has the capacity to substantially affect the power output, peak loads, fatigue damage, and aeroelastic stability of turbines located in subsequent rows downstream on the farm.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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