Texas Tech University

Structural impact assessment of low level jets over wind turbines


High-frequency (50 Hz) observational data from the 200-m tower data (Reese Technology Center, Texas) have been prescribed as inflow conditions into the NREL FAST code in order to evaluate the structural impacts of Low Level Jets (LLJs) on a typical commercial wind turbine. A vertical region of interest for the analysis of interaction LLJ–wind turbine has been delimited, and the LLJ length scales have been calculated. The analysis of power spectra exhibited a deviation within the inertial subrange from the classical −5/3 slope in a log-log representation towards a lower slope, which indicated a lower rate of energy transfer when the LLJ was present. It has been observed that during a LLJ event the turbulence intensity and turbulence kinetic energy were significantly lower than those during unstable conditions; and cyclical aerodynamic loads on the turbine blades produced a negative impact on the wind turbine, mainly due to the enhanced wind shear. Dominant frequencies present in the power spectra of the incoming wind were also observed in frequencies related to the dynamic loads of the turbines. It was found that the wind turbine can mimic the signals from the approaching inlet flow, although some of the replication can be altered or annulled in a wind farm.


W. Gutierrez; G. Araya; P. Kiliyanpilakkil; A. Ruiz-Columbie; M. Tutkun; L. Castillo  


Wind energy, Wind turbines, Statics, Atmospheric thermodynamics, Atmospheric dynamics, Spectroscopy, Measure theory, Fluid flows, Buoyancy, Turbulent flows

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Research Article

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Full Citation

Gutierrez, W., Araya, G., Kiliyanpilakkil, P., Ruiz-Columbie, A., Tutkun, M., & Castillo, L. (2016). Structural impact assessment of low level jets over wind turbines. Journal of renewable and sustainable energy, 8(2).

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Renewable Energy