PIV and LDA measurements of the wake behind a wind turbine model

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In the present work we review the results of a series of measurements of the flow behind a model scale of a horizontal axis wind turbine rotor carried out at the water flume at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The rotor is three-bladed and designed using Glauert theory for tip speed ratio λ =5 with a constant design lift coefficient along the span, CLdesign= 0.8. The measurements include dye visualization, Particle Image Velocimetry and Laser Doppler Anemometry. The wake instability has been studied in the range λ =3 – 9 at different cross-sections from the very near wake up to 10 rotor diameters downstream from the rotor. The initial flume flow was subject to a very low turbulence level with a uniform velocity profile, limiting the influence of external disturbances on the development of the inherent vortex instability. Using PIV measurements and visualizations, special attention was paid to detect and categorize different types of wake instabilities and the development of the flow in the near and the far wake. In parallel to PIV, LDA measurements provided data for various rotor regimes, revealing the existence of three main regular frequencies governing the development of different processes and instabilities in the rotor wake. In the far wake a constant frequency corresponding to the Strouhal number was found for the long-scale instabilities. This Strouhal number is in good agreement with the well-known constant that usually characterizes the oscillation in wakes behind bluff bodies. From associated visualizations and reconstructions of the flow field, it was found that the dynamics of the far wake is associated with the precession (rotation) of a helical vortex core. The data indicate that Strouhal number of this precession is independent of the rotor angular speed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012168
Book seriesJournal of Physics: Conference Series (Online)
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th International Conference on The Science of Making Torque from Wind 2014 - Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 10 Jun 201420 Jun 2014
Conference number: 5


Conference5th International Conference on The Science of Making Torque from Wind 2014
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
Internet address

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Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd


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