A Method for Quantifying Wind Turbine Leading Edge Roughness and its Influence on Energy Production: LER2AEP

Emil Krog Kruse*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This work propose a method for calculating the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of wind turbine generators that suffers from blade contamination and/or erosion. The calculations are based on 3D reconstructions of the blade surface acquired by an autonomous drone and post processed by a combination of commercial software and algorithms developed in this project. This Ph.D. work has been part of a project where several partners have taken part in providing the knowledge to obtain the chain from measuring the Leading Edge Roughness (LER) to predicting the Annual Energy Production (AEP) to establish the elements for the Leading Edge Roughness to Annual Energy Production (LER2AEP) method as shown in the title of this thesis.

The primary objectives of this Ph.D. was to collect information from the different project parties and research and develop a method for estimating the aerodynamics of contaminated and/or eroded wind turbine blades. This thesis will give an overview of the ideas, processes and findings within measurements, 3D reconstruction and the autonomous drone system as well as more in depth descriptions of the methods for estimating the aerodynamic penalty for contaminated and/or eroded wind turbine blades followed by a method for transferring these penalties to changes in the energy production of the wind turbine.

Most resources in the Ph.D. has been put into research of methods to simulate and measure the aerodynamic performance of airfoils subjected to contamination and/or erosion. The NACA 633-418 airfoil has been used as a baseline throughout the research. Validation of simulation models was based on measurements from two wind tunnels with a series of different disturbances on the surface emulating the presence of contamination or erosion. Two methods for computer aided simulation of these disturbances were presented. A study of which disturbance parameters had the most influence on aerodynamics was made with both simulations and by measurements in the Poul la Cour Tunnel at DTU
Wind Energy.

The aerodynamic studies on 2D airfoils showed how protrusions and cavities influenced the aerodynamic performance and showed how the drag increased and the lift decreased dependent on how the surface damages/contamination appeared. Three examples of a 2 MW wind turbine with erosion was given to illustrate the method and process of the algorithms. The erosion was partially measured with the techniques developed in the project and applied to the three wind turbines to different extends.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRoskilde, Denmark
PublisherDTU Wind Energy
Number of pages184
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesDTU Wind Energy PhD

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