Interaction between the atmospheric boundary layer and a stand-alone wind turbine in Gansu—Part II: Numerical analysis

  • Zhi Zheng
  • ZhiTeng Gao
  • DeShun Li
  • RenNian LiEmail author
  • Ye LiEmail author
  • QiuHao Hu
  • WenRui HuEmail author


To analyze the interaction between wind turbines and the atmospheric boundary layer, we integrated a large-eddy simulation with an actuator line model and examined the characteristics of wind-turbine loads and wakes with reference to a corresponding experiment in Gansu. In the simulation, we set the wind turbine to have a rotor diameter of 14.8 m and a tower height of 15.4 m in the center of an atmospheric boundary layer with a 10.6° yaw angle. The results reveal an obviously skewed wake structure behind the rotor due to the thrust component normal to the flow direction. The power spectra of the inflow fluctuation velocity exhibit a region of −5/3 slope, which confirms the ability of large-eddy simulations to reproduce the energy cascade from larger to smaller scales. We found there to be more energy in the power spectrum of the axial velocity, which shows that coherent turbulence structures have more energy in the horizontal direction. By the conjoint analysis of atmospheric turbulence and windturbine loads, we found that when the inflow wind direction changes rapidly, the turbulence kinetic energy and coherent turbulence kinetic energy in the atmospheric turbulence increase, which in turn causes fluctuations in the wind turbine load. Furthermore, anisotropic atmospheric turbulence causes an asymmetric load cycle, which imposes a strike by the turbine blade on the shaft, thereby increasing the fatigue load on the shaft. Our main conclusion is that the atmospheric boundary layer has a strong effect on the evolution of the wake and the structural response of the turbine.


wind power atmospheric turbulence effects finite volume methods large-eddy simulations 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Energy and Power EngineeringLanzhou University of TechnologyLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Gansu Provincial Technology Centre for Wind TurbinesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Fluid Machinery and SystemsLanzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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