Free flow wind speed from a blade-mounted flow sensor

Mads Mølgaard Pedersen*, Torben J. Larsen, Helge Aagaard Madsen , Søren Juhl Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper presents a method for obtaining the free-inflow velocities from a 3-D flow sensor mounted on the blade of a wind turbine. From its position on the rotating blade, e.g. one-third from the tip, a blade-mounted flow sensor (BMFS) is
able to provide valuable information about the turbulent sheared inflow in different regions of the rotor. At the rotor, however, the inflow is affected by the wind turbine, and in most cases the wind of interest is the inflow that the wind turbine is exposed to, i.e. the free-inflow velocities. The current method applies a combination of aerodynamic models and procedures to estimate the induced velocities, i.e. the disturbance of the flow field caused by the wind turbine. These velocities are subtracted from the flow velocities measured by the BMFS to obtain the free-inflow velocities. Aeroelastic codes, like HAWC2, typically use a similar approach to calculate the induction, but they use it for the reversed process, i.e. they add the induction to the free inflow to get the flow velocities at the blades, which are required to calculate the resulting aerodynamic forces. The aerodynamic models included in the current method comprise models based on blade element momentum (BEM) for axial and tangential induction, a radial induction model and tip loss correction, and models for skew and dynamic inflow. It is shown that the method is able to calculate the free-inflow velocities with high accuracy when applied to aeroelastic HAWC2 simulations with a stiff structural model while some deviations are seen in simulations with a flexible structure. Furthermore, the method is tested on simulations performed by a flexible structural model coupled with
a large-eddy simulation (LES) flow solver. The results of this higher-fidelity verification confirm the HAWC2- based conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy Science
Pages (from-to)121-138
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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