Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-122
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-122

  19 Nov 2021

19 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Mid-fidelity simulations and comparisons of five techniques for axial induction control of a wind turbine

Dan Houck, David Maniaci, and Chris L. Kelley Dan Houck et al.
  • Sandia National Labs, 1515 Eubank Blvd., SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123

Abstract. As wind turbines are more frequently placed in arrays, the need to understand and mitigate problems arising from their wakes has increased. When downstream turbines are in the wakes of upstream ones, the downstream turbines produce less power, require more maintenance, and have shorter lifetimes. One wake mitigation technique is known as axial induction control (AIC) and it involves derating (operating suboptimally) upstream turbines such that more energy remains in their wakes for downstream turbines to harvest. While there has been considerable research on this technique, much of it has suffered from a misunderstanding of the most important parameters in optimizing AIC. As such, the research has been largely inconclusive. Herein, we seek to rectify several perceived shortcomings of previous work by using mid-fidelity simulations to compare five different techniques for AIC at three different derate percentages against a baseline case and examining the recovery of the wake. We find that only the case with the lowest derate, 10 %, and using maximum thrust exceeds the baseline when estimating the combined power of the simulated turbine and a virtual turbine five diameters downstream and that it produced 10 % more power. Furthermore, these results help to validate previous work that concluded that the excess energy that is in the wake of a derated turbine will be at the edges of the wake unless the wake can sufficiently recover before the next downstream turbine. Finally, all together this suggests that the precise combination of derate percentage and the method used to derate turbines (i.e., the precise combination of pitch and torque controls), as well as the spacing and arrangement of turbines, must all be considered when optimizing AIC, and that substantial power gains may be possible.

Dan Houck et al.

Status: open (until 31 Dec 2021)

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Dan Houck et al.

Dan Houck et al.

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Short summary
Like young children without help, wind turbines are bad at sharing. Those that are first in line (most upstream) take all the fresh air leaving little for those downstream. This research shows how turbines can operate to share the wind resource better and what parameters are most important for optimizing this technique. Results indicate that power gains of 10 % can be achieved if upstream turbines are operated differently, which may help operators produce more wind power.