Effects of Terrain-Induced Turbulence on Wind Turbine Blade Fatigue Loads

Yasushi Kawashima, Takanori Uchida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recently, the issue has surfaced that the availability factors for wind farms built on complex terrain are lower than the originally projected values. In other words, problems have occurred such as extreme decreases in generation output, failures of components inside and outside wind turbines including yaw motors and yaw gears, and cracking on wind turbine blades. As one of the causes of such issues, the effects of wind turbulence (terrain-induced turbulence) have been pointed out. In this study, we investigated the effects of terrain-induced turbulence on the structural strength of wind turbines through the measurement of strains in wind turbine blades and the analysis of wind data in order to establish a method for optimal wind turbine deployment that uses numerically simulated wind data and takes the structural strength of wind turbines into consideration. The investigation was conducted on Wind Turbine #10 of the Kushikino Reimei Wind Farm (in operation since Nov. 2012) in cooperation with Kyudenko New Energy Co., Ltd. Subsequently, we conducted numerical wind simulations (diagnoses of terrain-induced turbulence) to study the effects of the properties of airflow on the structural strength of wind turbines. For these simulations, the natural terrain version of the RIAM-COMPACT software package, which is based on large eddy simulation (LES), was used. The numerical simulations successfully reproduced the characteristics of the wind conditions and the structure of the three-dimensional airflow. These results enabled us to determine the threshold value for a turbulence index to be used for optimal wind turbine deployment planning that utilizes quantitative data from simulations with the natural terrain version of the RIAM-COMPACT software package.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-857
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy and Power Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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