More accurate aeroelastic wind-turbine load simulations using detailed inflow information

Mads Mølgaard Pedersen*, Torben Juul Larsen, Helge Aagaard Madsen , Gunner Christian Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    In this paper, inflow information is extracted from a measurement database and used for aeroelastic simulations to investigate if using more accurate inflow descriptions improves the accuracy of the simulated wind-turbine fatigue loads. The inflow information is extracted from nearby meteorological masts (met masts) and a blade-mounted five-hole pitot tube. The met masts provide measurements of the inflow at fixed positions some distance away from the turbine, whereas the pitot tube measures the inflow while rotating with the rotor. The met mast measures the free-inflow velocity; however the measured turbulence may evolve on its way to the turbine, pass beside the turbine or the mast may be in the wake of the turbine. The inflow measured by the pitot tube, in comparison, is very representative of the wind that acts on the turbine, as it is measured close to the blades and also includes variations within the rotor plane. Nevertheless, this inflow is affected by the presence of the turbine; therefore, an aerodynamic model is used to estimate the free-inflow velocities that would have occurred at the same time and position without the presence of the turbine. The inflow information used for the simulations includes the mean wind speed field and trend, the turbulence intensity, the wind-speed shear profile, atmospheric stability-dependent turbulence parameters, and the azimuthal variations within the rotor plane. In addition, instantaneously measured wind speeds are used to constrain the turbulence. It is concluded that the period-specific turbulence intensity must be used in the aeroelastic simulations to make the range of the simulated fatigue loads representative for the range of the measured fatigue loads. Furthermore, it is found that the one-to-one correspondence between the measured and simulated fatigue loads is improved considerably by using inflow characteristics extracted from the pitot tube instead of using the met-mast-based sensors as input for the simulations. Finally, the use of pitot-tube-recorded wind speeds to constrain the inflow turbulence is found to significantly decrease the variation of the simulated loads due to different turbulence realizations (seeds), whereby the need for multiple simulations is reduced.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind Energy Science
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)303-323
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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