Texas Tech University

Hyper Accelerated Wind-Farm Kinematic-Control Simulator (HAWKS)

Hyper-Accelerated Wind-Farm Kinematic-Control Simulator (HAWKS) is a project aimed at the optimization and control of a model scale wind farm developed by National Wind Institute, Texas Tech University. In this project, we are building a model scale wind farm with multiple functional and programmable wind turbines to understand the wake effects, and get the best aerodynamics performance of the wind farm. The related research will potentially result in a huge economic impact in wind energy industry.

HAWKS project continues under Dr. Westergaard's watchful gaze.  Wind farm output can be significantly improved by Text credit: Dr. Carsten Westergaard and students implementing wake control strategies. However, state of the art control development and testing tools are deficient and of limited practical value. Computational Fluid Dynamics-based simulations have coarse resolution and are simply not able to resolve the complete flow physics. Conversely, field campaigns are expensive, laborious and limited by instrumentation technology. An NWI research group led by Dr. Carsten Westergaard is currently working on building a wind tunnel based platform that will allow testing myriad wind farm control parameters in real time.

The "Hybrid Accelerated Wind-Farm Kinematic-Control Simulator" (HAWKS) will consist of fully controllable scale wind turbine models to study the dynamics of inter-turbine wake interaction and the effect on the net output power. The simulator is being built in the wind tunnel located at the Reese Center. Individual turbines will have pitch, yaw and rpm controls that will be operated from a command center similar to a full scale wind farm operation. Turbine characteristics such as power and rpm will be measured. Currently, the pitch and rpm measurement and control system has been implemented. In addition, wake characteristics will be obtained using Particle Image Velocimetery (PIV) which is a high resolution, laser-based measurement technique. This technique provides a detailed map of the wake which would allow observing the control effects in real time. This platform will emulate the wind farm dynamics and can be utilized as a training platform for future wind farm managers in addition to research. This interdisciplinary effort has several NWI affiliated graduate and undergraduate students involved in addition to faculty. Undergraduate Students: Travis Monk (NWI) and Stephanie Vasquez (NWI). Graduate Students: Ricardo Castillo (EE) and Yeqin Wang (ME). Faculty: Drs. Ren Beibei, Fazle Hussain, Suhas Pol, Andy Swift, and Carsten Westergaard (PI).


(Above) – The HAWKS Wind Farm in Wind Tunnel.


(Above) – The HAWKS Turbine Design.