Probing wind-turbine/atmosphere interactions at utility scale: Novel insights from the EOLOS wind energy research station

J. Hong, M. Guala, L. P. Chamorro, F. Sotiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite major research efforts, the interaction of the atmospheric boundary layer with turbines and multi-turbine arrays at utility scale remains poorly understood today. This lack of knowledge stems from the limited number of utility-scale research facilities and a number of technical challenges associated with obtaining high-resolution measurements at field scale. We review recent results obtained at the University of Minnesota utility-scale wind energy research station (the EOLOS facility), which is comprised of a 130 m tall meteorological tower and a fully instrumented 2.5MW Clipper Liberty C96 wind turbine. The results address three major areas: 1) The detailed characterization of the wake structures at a scale of 36×36 m2 using a novel super-large-scale particle image velocimetry based on natural snowflakes, including the rich tip vortex dynamics and their correlation with turbine operations, control, and performance; 2) The use of a WindCube Lidar profiler to investigate how wind at various elevations influences turbine power fluctuation and elucidate the role of wind gusts on individual blade loading; and 3) The systematic quantification of the interaction between the turbine instantaneous power output and tower foundation strain with the incoming flow turbulence, which is measured from the meteorological tower.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012001
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Event5th Science of Making Torque from Wind Conference, TORQUE 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Jun 18 2014Jun 20 2014

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