Wind-turbine wakes - Effects of yaw, shear and turbine interaction

Abstract: The actuator-line method is used together with the incompressible Navier–Stokes equations to investigate the flow development behind wind turbines. Initial investigations focus on providing a thorough validation of the implementation in the spectral-element flow solver Nek5000 against existing numerical and experimental datasets. It is shown that the current implementation gives an accurate representation of the flow field for different turbine geometries, inflow conditions, yaw misalignment, and when considering multiple turbines. This enables an in-depth study of the wake physics in these configurations.The yawed wind-turbine wake development is shown to depend on the tip-speed ratio, both in terms of the wake deficit and the generation of the counter-rotating vortices known to occur in yawed turbine wakes. For lower tip-speed ratios the wake deficit exhibited significant asymmetries with respect to the horizontal plane due to the advancing/retreating effect. At high tip-speed ratios this effect became negligible compared to the skewed wake effect, which affects the symmetry with respect to the vertical plane. These inhomogeneities in the averaged wake development also affect the tip-vortex breakdown, leading to different locations of the tip-vortex breakdown along the wake azimuth due to the significant azimuthal variations of the tip-vortex strength and convection velocity. An analysis of the interaction of a yawed wind-turbine wake with a sheared inflow exposed a dependency of the wake deflection and recovery on the yaw orientation, which then resulted in significant differences in the combined power output of a two-turbine setup. More detailed studies of the tip-vortex breakdown in sheared flows using single-frequency perturbations revealed that a sheared inflow changes the spatial growth rate of the tip vortices along the vertical axis, due to the varying tip-vortex convection velocity. However, by applying a scaling based on local vortex parameters, the growth rates collapse to the canonical case of an infinite row of point vortices. Finally, an idealized scenario of two in-line turbines with a steady tip-vortex development is investigated. By applying a range of controlled perturbations, modes were excited, which exhibited in-phase or out-of-phase displacement between the vortex system of the upstream and the downstream turbine for certain frequencies.