Application of simulated lidar scanning patterns to constrained Gaussian turbulence fields for load validation

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We demonstrate a method for incorporating wind velocity measurements from multiple-point scanning lidars into threedimensional wind turbulence time series serving as input to wind turbine load simulations. Simulated lidar scanning patterns are implemented by imposing constraints on randomly generated Gaussian turbulence fields in compliance with the Mann model for neutral stability. The expected efficiency of various scanning patterns is estimated by means of the explained variance associated with the constrained field. A numerical study is made using the HAWC2 aeroelastic software, whereby the constrained turbulence wind time series serves as input to load simulations on a 10 MW wind turbine model using scanning patterns simulating different lidar technologies—pulsed lidar with one or multiple beams—and continuous wave lidars scanning in three different revolving patterns. Based on the results of this study, we assess the influence of the proposed method on the statistical uncertainty in wind turbine extreme and fatigue loads. The main conclusion is that introducing lidar measurements as turbulence constraints in load simulations may bring significant reduction in load and energy production uncertainty, not accounting for any additional uncertainty from real measurements. The constrained turbulence method is most efficient for prediction of energy production and loads governed by the turbulence intensity and the thrust force, while for other load components such as tower base side-to-side moment, the achieved reduction in uncertainty is minimal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)79–95
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Turbulence
  • Uncertainty
  • Constrained
  • Lidar
  • Load simulations
  • Wind measurements
  • Load verification
  • Random field


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