On the impact of non-Gaussian wind statistics on wind turbines – an experimental approach
- 1ForWind, University of Oldenburg, Institute of Physics, Küpkersweg 70, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
- 2Murdoch University, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Murdoch, WA, 6150, Australia
Abstract. The effect of intermittent and Gaussian inflow conditions on wind energy converters is studied experimentally. Two different flow situations were created in a wind tunnel using an active grid. Both flows exhibit nearly equal mean velocity values and turbulence intensities but strongly differ in their two point statistics, namely their distribution of velocity increments on a variety of timescales, one being Gaussian distributed, and the other one being strongly intermittent. A horizontal axis model wind turbine is exposed to both flows, isolating the effect on the turbine of the differences not captured by mean values and turbulence intensities. Thrust, torque and power data were recorded and analyzed, showing that the model turbine does not smooth out intermittency. Intermittent inflow is converted to similarly intermittent turbine data on all scales considered, reaching down to sub-rotor scales in space. This indicates that it is not correct to assume a smoothing of intermittent wind speed increments below the size of the rotor.