Relevant to drivetrain bearing fatigue failures, we analyse non-steady wind turbine responses from interactions between energy-dominant daytime atmospheric turbulence eddies and the rotating blades of a GE 1.5 MW wind turbine using a unique dataset from a GE field experiment and computer simulation. Time-resolved local velocity data were collected at the leading and trailing edges of an instrumented blade together with generator power, revolutions per minute, pitch and yaw. Wind velocity and temperature were measured upwind on a meteorological tower. The stability state and other atmospheric conditions during the field experiment were replicated with a large-eddy simulation in which was embedded a GE 1.5 MW wind turbine rotor modelled with an advanced actuator line method. Both datasets identify three important response time scales: advective passage of energy-dominant eddies (≈25–50 s), blade rotation (once per revolution (1P), ≈3 s) and sub-1P scale (<1 s) response to internal eddy structure. Large-amplitude short-time ramp-like and oscillatory load fluctuations result in response to temporal changes in velocity vector inclination in the aerofoil plane, modulated by eddy passage at longer time scales. Generator power responds strongly to large-eddy wind modulations. We show that internal dynamics of the blade boundary layer near the trailing edge is temporally modulated by the non-steady external flow that was measured at the leading edge, as well as blade-generated turbulence motions.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Wind energy in complex terrains’.
One contribution of 11 to a theme issue ‘Wind energy in complex terrains’.
- Accepted January 3, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.