Exploring the complexities associated with full-scale wind plant wake mitigation control experiments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent research promotes implementing next-generation wind plant control methods to mitigate turbine-to-turbine wake effects. Numerical simulation and wind tunnel experiments have previously demonstrated the potential benefit of wind plant control for wind plant optimization, but full-scale validation of the wake-mitigating control strategies remains limited. As part of this study, the yaw and blade pitch of a utility-scale wind turbine were strategically modified for a limited time period to examine wind turbine wake response to first-order turbine control changes. Wind turbine wake response was measured using Texas Tech University's Ka-band Doppler radars and dual-Doppler scanning strategies. Results highlight some of the complexities associated with executing and analyzing wind plant control at full scale using brief experimental control periods. Some difficulties include (1) the ability to accurately implement the desired control changes, (2) identifying reliable data sources and methods to allow these control changes to be accurately quantified, and (3) attributing variations in wake structure to turbine control changes rather than a response to the underlying atmospheric conditions (e.g., boundary layer streak orientation, atmospheric stability). To better understand wake sensitivity to the underlying atmospheric conditions, wake evolution within the early-evening transition was also examined using a single-Doppler data collection approach. Analysis of both wake length and meandering during this period of transitioning atmospheric stability indicates the potential benefit and feasibility of wind plant control should be enhanced when the atmosphere is stable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-488
Number of pages20
JournalWind Energy Science
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

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