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Research Papers

A Numerical Study of Atmospheric and Wake Turbulence Impacts on Wind Turbine Fatigue Loadings

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Lee

e-mail: Sang.Lee@nrel.gov

J. Michalakes

National Wind Technology Center,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
15013 Denver West Parkway, MS 3811,
Golden, CO 80401

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received February 10, 2012; final manuscript received October 19, 2012; published online February 8, 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(3), 031001 (Feb 08, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1035; doi: 10.1115/1.4023319 History: Received February 10, 2012; Revised October 19, 2012

Large-eddy simulations of atmospheric boundary layers under various stability and surface roughness conditions are performed to investigate the turbulence impact on wind turbines. In particular, the aeroelastic responses of the turbines are studied to characterize the fatigue loading of the turbulence present in the boundary layer and in the wake of the turbines. Two utility-scale 5 MW turbines that are separated by seven rotor diameters are placed in a 3 km by 3 km by 1 km domain. They are subjected to atmospheric turbulent boundary layer flow and data are collected on the structural response of the turbine components. The surface roughness was found to increase the fatigue loads while the atmospheric instability had a small influence. Furthermore, the downstream turbines yielded higher fatigue loads indicating that the turbulent wakes generated from the upstream turbines have significant impact.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the computational domain

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Fig. 2

Instantaneous isosurfaces of the horizontal component (blue, −1.25 m/s) and the vertical component (red, 1 m/s) of velocity for (a) NL, (b) NH, (c) UL, and (d) UH

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Fig. 3

(a) Mean streamwise velocity profile and (b) energy spectra for various ABL conditions

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Fig. 4

Two NREL 5 MW turbines subjected to NL atmospheric conditions showing the instantaneous streamwise velocity with streamlines

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Fig. 5

Moments measured at various locations

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Fig. 6

Time history of moment signals for (a) Moop for WT1, (b) Moop for WT2, (c) Mtwr-y for WT1, and (d) Mtwr-y for WT2

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Fig. 7

Energy spectra for blade root moments for (a) in-plane: Mip and (b) out-of-plane: Moop, (c) yaw moment at the tower-top yaw bearing: Myaw, (d) torque at the low-speed-shaft of the rotor: Mlss-x, (e) side-to-side moment at the tower base: Mtwr-x, and (f) fore-aft moment at the tower base: Mtwr-y

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Fig. 8

Probability of exceedance for rainflow cycle counts of (a) Moop, (b) Myaw, (c) Mtwr-x, and (d) Mtwr-y

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Fig. 9

Damage equivalent load for (a) Mip, (b) Moop, (c) Mlss-x, (d) Myaw, (e) Mtwr-x, and (f) Mtwr-y

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