Wake behind a horizontal-axis wind turbine
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In this paper theory on cylinder and wind turbine wakes have been studied, and experimental work on the wake behind a wind turbine have been carried out in the Fluids engineering laboratory at NTNU.The objective of this paper is to show and explain how the wake from the tower of a wind turbine develops and interacts with the rotor wake. It is desirable to study the wake for different operating conditions of the wind turbine to see how the wake development is affected. A summary of classical wake theory, aerodynamics and wind turbine wakes will be given. Measurements in the wake of a cylinder fitted with pressure taps for drag calculation will be compared to theory and used as a reference. Also, the wake behind the wind turbine tower with the blades taken off will be studied and compared to the tower wake found behind the operating wind turbine.For comparison, reference measurements were done in the wake behind a cylinder and behind the free standing wind turbine tower without blades. The drag coefficient obtained from pressure measurements on the cylinder surface were 1.077 and match the expected value of 1.2 fairly well. However, neither the shape nor the maximum velocity deficit measured in the wake fit the theoretical profile. Drag coefficients calculated from the momentum deficit across the wake were only in the range of 0.65, which is almost half of the expected, and the huge deviation from theory could not be explained. With values between 1.07 and 1.50 the measured drag coefficients in the wake of the tower alone were also not consistent with theory. The shape of the tower wake profile coincides better with theory than the cylinder wake, but the maximum velocity deficit is generally lower than predicted by theory. Difference in drag can be explained with blockage effect and the smaller velocity deficit may be attributed to the free stream flow over the top of the tower interfering with the wake downstream of the tower.Wake surveys behind the wind turbine were done at three operating conditions: Optimum tip speed ratio; low tip speed ratio, with power output half of output at best point operation; and high tip speed ratio, with power output half of output at best point operation. The increased turbulence level behind the rotor the flow seen by the tower is believed to creates a turbulent boundary layer which stays attached to the surface to a point further back on the tower, creating a narrower and weaker wake compared the free standing tower wake. Optimum turbine operation gives a stronger rotation of the wake doe to the higher torque on the blades compared to the two other cases. At high TSR the wake is more uniform, and the tower wake disappears faster than in the wake of the turbine operating at lower TSR. The Strouhal number found in all the wakes match well with theory and does not seem to be affected by the rotor wake except that the tower vortices dies out quicker.