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Simulating wind turbine interactions using the vorticity transport equations

Fletcher, Timothy M. and Brown, R.E. (2009) Simulating wind turbine interactions using the vorticity transport equations. In: 28th ASME Wind Energy Symposium, 2009-01-05 - 2009-01-08.

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The aerodynamic interactions that can occur within a wind farm result in the constituent turbines generating a lower power output than would be possible if each of the turbines were operated in isolation. Tightening of the constraints on the siting of wind farms is likely to increase the scale of the problem in the future. The aerodynamic performance ofturbine rotors and the mechanisms that couple the fluid dynamics of multiple rotors can be understood best by simplifying the problem and considering the interaction between only two rotors. The aerodynamic interaction between two rotors in both axial and yawed wind conditions has been simulated using the Vorticity Transport Model. The aerodynamic interaction is a function of the tip speed ratio, the separation between the rotors, and the angle of yaw to the incident wind. The simulations show that the momentum deficit at a turbine operating within the wake developed by the rotor of a second turbine can limitsubstantially the mean power coefficient that can be developed by the turbine rotor. In addition, the significant unsteadiness in the aerodynamic loading on the rotor blades that results from the inherent asymmetry of the interaction, particularly in certain configurations and wind conditions, has considerable implications for the fatigue life of the blade structure and rotor hub. The Vorticity Transport Model enables the simulation the wakedynamics within wind farms and the subsequent aerodynamic interaction to be evaluated over a broad range of wind farm configurations and operating conditions.