On the scale-to-scale coupling between a full-scale wind turbine and turbulence

L. P. Chamorro, J. Hong, C. Gangodagamage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The scale-dependent response of an instrumented full-scale wind turbine is studied under neutrally stratified conditions. The analysis is focused on the linkage between the incoming flow, turbine power output and foundation strain. Wind speed, measured from sonic anemometers installed on a meteorological tower, and foundation strain were sampled at 20 Hz, while the turbine power was sampled at 1 Hz. A wavelet framework and structure function are used to obtain cross correlations among flow turbulence, turbine power and strain across scales as well as to quantify intermittent signatures in both flow and turbine quantities. Results indicate that correlation between the streamwise velocity component of the wind flow and turbine power is maximised across all scales larger than the rotor radius for wind measured at the turbine hub height. The characteristic time lag associated with maximum correlation is shown to be consistent with the Taylors hypothesis for turbulent scales smaller than the separation between the meteorological tower and the turbine. However, it decreases with increasing scale size and diminishes to zero at scales on the order of the boundary layer thickness. Turbine power and strain fluctuations exhibited practically the same behaviour at scales larger than two rotor diameters. At those scales, the cross correlation between these quantities resulted ∼0.99 and remains still over 0.9 at the scale of rotor radius. Below this scale, the correlation decreases logarithmically with scale. The strong linkage between power and strain for all the relevant scales would eventually allow the analysis of dynamic forcing on the foundation based on the power output. Intermittency on the flow is shown to be transferred and amplified by the turbine, leading to highly intermittent power output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-632
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the US Department of Energy DOE [DE-EE0002980].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • field experiment
  • flow-structure interaction
  • turbine loading
  • wavelet analysis
  • wind turbine


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