The NREL Large-Scale Turbine Infow and Response Experiment - Preliminary Results

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

2002 ASME Wind Energy Symposium


American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Reno, NV

Conference Dates

January 14-17, 2002

Date of Presentation



The accurate numerical dynamic simulation of new large-scale wind turbine designs operating over a wide range of inflow environments is critical because it is usually impractical to test prototypes in a variety of locations. Large turbines operate in a region of the atmospheric boundary layer that currently may not be adequately simulated by present turbulence codes. In this paper, we discuss the development and use of a 42-m (137-ft) planar array of five, high-resolution sonic anemometers upwind of a 600kW wind turbine at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC). The objective of this experiment is to obtain simultaneously collected turbulence information from the inflow array and the corresponding structural response of the turbine. The turbulence information will be used for comparison with that predicted by currently available codes and establish any systematic differences. These results will be used to improve the performance of the turbulence simulations. The sensitivities of key elements of the turbine aeroelastic and structural response to a range of turbulence-scaling parameters will be established for comparisons with other turbines and operating environments. In this paper, we present an overview of the experiment, and offer examples of two observed cases of inflow characteristics and turbine response collected under daytime and nighttime conditions, and compare their turbulence properties with predictions.




Organization website

This work was performed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in support of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number DC-AC36-98-GO10337. This material is a declared work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States.