Characterization of the wake behind a horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) at very high Reynolds numbers

Alexander Pique, Mark A. Miller, Marcus Hultmark

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The wake of a three-bladed horizontal axis wind turbine was studied at aerodynamic conditions similar to what is experienced by commercially available turbines. Field relevant Reynolds numbers and tip speed ratios were obtained through the use of a high-pressure wind tunnel, at relatively low velocities. Measurements of the streamwise velocity were acquired through the use of the novel nano-scale thermal anemometry probe (NSTAP), which yields very high spatial and temporal resolution, enabling unattenuated turbulence measurements. Profiles of the mean velocity and turbulent fluctuations are presented, as they demonstrate important features of the wake development, such as wake recovery and tip vortex evolution. One dimensional energy spectra are also presented to provide details on the dominant flow features present in the wake. Reynolds number invariance is shown for mean velocity deficit and streamwise variance profiles for all downstream positions presented. Downstream evolution of streamwise variance profiles provides insight to the dynamic interactions between the tip and root vortex, such as their eventual coalescence. Spectral analysis show that the near wake flow-structures are dominated by the tip vortex, but that other larger structures are present as well, which may be related to the wake meandering phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062039
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 22 2020
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind 2020, TORQUE 2020 - Virtual, Online, Netherlands
Duration: Sep 28 2020Oct 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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