Upwind preview to a horizontal axis wind turbine: a wind tunnel and field-scale study

Kevin B. Howard, Michele Guala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Data collected at the Eolos wind research facility and in the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel are used to study the impact of turbulent inflow conditions on the performance of a horizontal axis wind turbine on flat terrain. The Eolos test facility comprises a 2.5MW Clipper Liberty C96 wind turbine, a meteorological tower and a WindCube LiDAR wind profiler. A second set of experiments was completed using particle image velocimetry upwind and in a wake of a miniature turbine in the wind tunnel to complement LiDAR measurements near the Eolos turbine. Joint statistics, most notably temporal cross-correlations between wind velocity at different heights and turbine performance, are presented and compared at both the laboratory and field scales. The work (i) confirms that the turbine exerts a blockage effect on the mean flow and (ii) suggests a key, specific elevation, above hub height, where the incoming velocity signal is statistically most relevant to turbine operation and control. Wind tunnel measurements confirm such indication and suggest that hub height velocity measurements are optimal for wind preview and/or as input for active control strategies in aligned turbine configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1389
Number of pages19
JournalWind Energy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • boundary layer
  • control
  • inflow conditions
  • scaling
  • turbine interaction
  • turbine siting
  • velocity deficit
  • wind gust


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