Event Details

Kenninger Renewable Energy and Power Systems Seminar

February 24 @ 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Mechanical Engineering, Room ME 2054

 Kenninger Renewable Energy and Power Systems Seminar

We are pleased to wecome Dr. Luciano Castillo for his presentation of “Why Turbulence is a Big Deal on Wind Energy”. Dr. Castillo is with the National Wind Resource Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University.


“Why Turbulence is a Big Deal on Wind Energy”


The interaction of Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) and the Wind Farm Boundary Layer (WFBL) is crucial to energy production. Experimental investigation on model wind farm operated in a wind tunnel have shown that power generated by turbines is proportional to the turbulent transport of momentum and kinetic energy across the boundary layer flow formed by the farm. These results corroborate conclusions of previous LES simulation studies. We have further determined that motions of dimensions, L ~ 13D, that are significantly larger than single turbines, are associated with 54% of the total energy transport from ATBL. The wind tunnel studies performed included model turbines arranged in a 3x5 array. Particle Image Velocity measurements were obtained in planes surrounding target wind turbines to compute planar average mean velocity and turbulence properties. Figure 1 shows the scaled down wind farm (left), the reconstruction of Reynolds shear stress using limited number of modes (center) and the distribution of length scale of the modes (right). The first few modes corresponding to higher energy transfer are of dimensions larger than the turbine.

Preliminary observations in field experiments have shown a high correlation between the velocity at inflow and wake and power measurement, observed even at 130D, indicating presence of large-scale coherent structures that govern the dynamics. In addition, the ratio of the standard deviation of power generated by the turbine to the inflow velocity is observed to be greater than three, revealing adverse effects of inflow turbulence on power and load fluctuations. Future measurements will study individual turbine wakes as well as turbine-turbine effects for different atmospheric stability conditions.



Luciano Castillo is the Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy and the executive Director/President of the National Wind Resource Center (NWRC) at Texas Tech University. After spending 12 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in July 2011, he joined the ME department at TTU. His research in turbulence using experimental techniques, direct numerical simulations and multi-scale asymptotic analysis has injected new ideas in turbulent boundary layers and our understanding of initial conditions on large scale turbulence, particularly on wind energy. Some of his awards include: Fellow ASME, the NASA Faculty Fellowship, the Martin Luther King

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