Research Papers

Simulation of Thunderstorm Downbursts and Associated Wind Turbine Loads

[+] Author and Article Information
Hieu Huy Nguyen

Fellow Mem. ASME
e-mail: nhh@utexas.edu

Lance Manuel

Professor Mem. ASME
e-mail: lmanuel@mail.utexas.edu
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering,
University of Texas,
Austin, TX 78712

Jason Jonkman


Paul S. Veers

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL),
Golden, CO 80401

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received September 5, 2011; final manuscript received August 26, 2012; published online January 25, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Christian Masson.

The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(2), 021014 (Jan 25, 2013) (12 pages) Paper No: SOL-11-1189; doi: 10.1115/1.4023096 History: Received September 05, 2011; Revised August 26, 2012

This study is focused on simulation of thunderstorm downbursts and associated wind turbine loads. We first present a thunderstorm downburst model, in which the wind field is assumed to result from the summation of an analytical mean field and stochastic turbulence. The structure and evolution of the downburst wind field based on the analytical model are discussed. Loads are generated using stochastic simulation of the aeroelastic response for a model of a utility-scale 5-MW turbine. With the help of a few assumptions, particularly regarding control strategies, we address the chief influences of wind velocity fields associated with downbursts—namely, large wind speeds and large, rapid wind direction changes—by considering different storm scenarios and studying associated turbine loads. These scenarios include, first, an illustrative case to understand details related to the turbine response simulation; this is followed by a study involving a different storm touchdown location relative to the turbine as well as a critical case where a shutdown sequence is included. Results show that the availability of and assumptions in wind turbine control systems during a downburst clearly influence overall system response. Control system choices can significantly mitigate turbine loads during downbursts. Results also show that different storm touchdown locations result in distinct characteristics in inflow wind fields and, hence, in contrasting turbine response.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Plan view showing a downburst and wind turbine

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Fig. 2

Steady-state pitch angle response versus wind speed [7]

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Fig. 3

Evolution of the downburst nonturbulent velocity field in a vertical plane along the storm track

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Fig. 4

Evolution of the downburst nonturbulent velocity field in a horizontal plane 90 m above ground level (the downburst touchdown point is at x = 0; y = 0)

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Fig. 5

Grid used to simulate wind velocity field for turbine loads simulation

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Fig. 6

Wind field and turbine response simulation for case 1: Urm = 47  m/s;Utrans = 12  m/s;zm=90  m;rm0 = 1000  m;krm = 1.0  m/s;t0 = 6    min;t1 = 12    min;x0 = -6000  m;y0 = -100  m

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Fig. 7

Wind field and turbine response simulation for case 2: Urm = 47  m/s;Utrans = 12  m/s;zm = 90  m;rm0 = 1000  m;krm = 1.0  m/s;t0 = 6  min;t1 = 12  min;x0 = -6000  m;y0 = -1000  m

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Fig. 8

Case 1: variation with time of the out-of-plane deflection at a blade tip

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Fig. 9

Case 2: variation with time of the out-of-plane deflection at a blade tip

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Fig. 10

Case 1: variation with time of the yaw moment at the top of the tower

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Fig. 11

Case 2: variation with time of the yaw moment at the top of the tower

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Fig. 12

Wind field simulation for case 3: Urm = 47  m/s;Utrans = 14  m/s;zm = 70  m;rm0 = 610  m;krm = 0.05  m/s;t0 = 9  min;t1 = 10  min;x0 = -7570  m;y0 = -610  m

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Fig. 13

Case 3: Urm = 47  m/s;Utrans = 14  m/s;zm = 70  m;rm0 = 610  m;krm = 0.05  m/s;t0 = 9  min;t1 = 10  min;x0 = -7570  m;y0 = -610  m




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