Dominant flow features in the wake of a wind turbine at high Reynolds numbers

A. Piqué, M. A. Miller, M. Hultmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Dominant flow features in the near and intermediate wake of a horizontal-axis wind turbine are studied at near field-scale Reynolds numbers. Measurements of the axial velocity component were performed using a nano-scale hot-wire anemometer and analyzed using spectral methods to reveal the extent and evolution of the flow features. Experiments were conducted at a range of Reynolds numbers, of 2.7 × 10 6 ≤ R e D ≤ 7.2 × 10 6, based on the rotor diameter and freestream velocity. Five different downstream locations were surveyed, between 0.77 ≤ x / D ≤ 5.52, including the near wake, transition to the intermediate wake, and the intermediate wake. Three dominant wake features are identified and studied: the tip vortices, an annular shear layer in the wake core, and wake meandering. The tip vortices are shown to have a broadband influence in the flow in their vicinity, which locally alters the turbulence in that area. It is shown that shedding in the wake core and wake meandering are two distinct and independent low frequency features, and the wake meandering persists into the intermediate wake, whereas the signatures of the core shedding vanish early in the near wake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033304
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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