Statistical impact of wind-speed ramp events on turbines, via observations and coupled fluid-dynamic and aeroelastic simulations

Mark Kelly*, Søren Juhl Andersen, Ásta Hannesdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Via 11 years of high-frequency measurements, we calculated the probability space of expected offshore wind-speed ramps, recasting it compactly in terms of relevant load-driving quantities for horizontal-axis wind turbines. A statistical ensemble of events in reduced ramp-parameter space (ramp acceleration, mean speed after ramp, upper-level shear) was created to capture the variability of ramp parameters and also allow connection of such to ramp-driven loads. Constrained Mann-model (CMM) turbulence simulations coupled to an aeroelastic model were made for each ensemble member, for a single turbine. Ramp acceleration was found to dominate the maxima of thrust-associated loads, with a ramp-induced increase of 45 %–50 % for blade-root flap-wise bending moment and tower-base fore–aft moment, plus ∼ 3 % per 0.1 m/s2 of bulk ramp-acceleration magnitude. The ensemble of ramp events from the CMM was also embedded in large-eddy simulation (LES) of a wind farm consisting of rows of nine turbines. The LES uses actuator-line modeling for the turbines and is coupled to the aeroelastic model. The LES results indicate that the ramps, and the mean acceleration associated with them, tend to persist through the farm. Depending on the ramp acceleration, ramps crossing rated speed lead to maximum loads, which are nearly constant for the third row and further downwind. Where rated power is not achieved, the loads primarily depend on wind speed; as mean winds weaken within the farm, ramps can again have UVrated. This leads to higher loads than pre-ramp conditions, with the distance where loads begin to increase depending on inflow Umax relative to Vrated. For the ramps considered here, the effect of turbulence on loads is found to be small relative to ramp amplitude that causes Vrated to be exceeded, but for ramps with UafterVrated, the combination of ramp and turbulence can cause load maxima. The same sensitivity of loads to acceleration is found in both the CMM-aeroelastic simulations and the coupled LES.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind Energy Science
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1227-1245
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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