Calibration of a spinner anemometer for yaw misalignment measurements

Troels Friis Pedersen, Giorgio Demurtas, Frederik Zahle

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The spinner anemometer is an instrument for yaw misalignment measurements without the drawbacks of instruments mounted on the nacelle top. The spinner anemometer uses a non-linear conversion algorithm that converts the measured wind speeds by three sonic sensors on the spinner to horizontal wind speed, yaw misalignment and flow inclination angle. The conversion algorithm utilizes two constants that are specific to the spinner and blade root design and to the mounting positions of the sonic sensors on the spinner. One constant, k2, mainly affects the measurement of flow angles, while the other constant, k1, mainly affects the measurement of wind speed. The ratio between the two constants, kα = k2/k1, however, only affects the measurement of flow angles. The calibration of kα is thus a basic calibration of the spinner anemometer. Theoretical background for the non-linear calibration is derived from the generic spinner anemometer conversion algorithm. Five different methods were evaluated for calibration of a spinner anemometer on a 500 kW wind turbine. The first three methods used rotor yaw direction as reference angular, while the wind turbine, was yawed in and out of the wind. The fourth method used a hub height met-mast wind vane as reference. The fifth method used computational fluid dynamics simulations. Method 1 utilizing yawing of the wind turbine in and out of the wind in stopped condition was the preferred method for calibration of kα. The uncertainty of the yaw misalignment calibration was found to be 10%, giving an uncertainty of 1° at a yaw misalignment of 10°. © 2014 The Authors. Wind Energy published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Pages (from-to)1933–1952
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Anemometer
  • Yaw misalignment
  • Yaw error
  • Flow inclination angle
  • Nacelle anemometer
  • Spinner anemometer
  • Calibration

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