Documenting wind speed and power deficits behind a utility-scale wind turbine

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36 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-spatial-and-temporal-resolution radial velocity measurements surrounding a single utility-scale wind turbine were collected using the Texas Tech University Ka-band mobile research radars. The measurements were synthesized to construct the first known dual-Doppler analyses of the mean structure and variability of a single turbine wake. The observations revealed a wake length that subjectively exceeded 20 rotor diameters, which far exceeds the typically employed turbine spacing of 7-10 rotor diameters. The mean horizontal wind speed deficits found within the turbine wake region relative to the free streamflow were related to potential reductions in the available power for a downwind turbine. Mean wind speed reductions of 17.4% (14.8%) were found at 7 (10) rotor diameters downwind, corresponding to a potential power output reduction of 43.6% (38.2%). The wind speed deficits found within the wake also exhibit large variability over short time intervals; this variability would have an appreciable impact on the inflow of a downstream turbine. The full understanding and application of these newly collected data have the potential to alter current wind-farm design and layout practices and to affect the cost of energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

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