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Interaction of an Eulerian flue gas plume with wind turbines

Fletcher, Timothy M. and Brown, R.E. (2010) Interaction of an Eulerian flue gas plume with wind turbines. In: 29th ASME Wind Energy Symposium, 2010-01-04 - 2010-01-07.

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The reduced availability of sites with the requisite wind resource, planning permission and public acceptance for the placement of wind turbines poses a significant challenge to future expansion of the wind energy industry. Developers increasingly wish to site large turbines in close proximity to industrial plants, but there is uncertainty amongst environmental protection agencies on how best to measure and regulate the impact that wind turbines may have on the dispersion of the gases that are often emitted into the atmosphere from such plants. Several simplified wind turbine-flue stack configurations have been simulated using the Vorticity Transport Model. This model provides a high-fidelity representation of the vortical flow structure within both the wind turbine wake and the plume, and is able to capture the re-direction and dispersion of the plume that occurs due to interaction with the wind turbine. The impingement of the plume on the wind turbine is shown to disrupt the wake structure downwind of the wind turbine, and may induce additional unsteady loading on the turbine rotor. The velocity deficit downwind of the wind turbine influences the rate at which the plume propagates downwind, and results in an increase in the concentration of plume material (which may include pollutant gas and particulates) around the wind turbine. This localized increase in plume concentration is shown to be sensitive to the thrust coefficient at which the wind turbine is operated. The results presented in this paper show that environmental protection agencies are justified in their concerns regarding the placement of wind turbines near to industrial plants, and suggests strongly that the interaction between wind turbines and gas plumes should be investigated further.