Turbulence in Wind Farm Boundary Layers

Turbulence in Wind Farm Boundary Layers

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  • March 20, 2014
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Plenary Lecture, 14th Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics

Charles Meneveau

Louis M. Sardella Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Associate Director, Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD 21218, U.S.A.

 Phone: 410-516-7802, Fax: 410-516-7254, meneveau@jhu.edu

Similar to other renewable energy sources, wind energy is characterized by low power density. Hence, in order for wind energy to make a significant contribution to our overall energy supply, large wind farms (on or off-shore) need to be envisioned. As it turns out, not much is known about the interactions between large wind farms and the atmospheric boundary layer. A case in point, as wind farms are getting larger, operators have begun to complain about the so-called “wind-farm underperformance” problem. This presentation will summarize our results that focus on understanding how wind turbines, when deployed in large arrays, extract kinetic energy from the atmospheric boundary layer. Large Eddy Simulations (LES) are used to improve our understanding of the vertical transport of momentum and kinetic energy across a boundary layer flow with wind turbines.  A suite of LES, in which wind turbines are modeled using the classical `actuator disk’ concept, are performed for various wind turbine arrangements, turbine loading factors, and surface roughness values. The results are used to develop improved models for effective roughness length scales and to obtain new optimal spacing distances among wind turbines in a large wind farm. We introduce the notion of generalized transport tubes as a new tool for flow visualization that is particularly useful to analyze the spatial transport of particular physical quantities (e.g. kinetic energy arriving at a particular wind turbine) and we describe the turbulence structures responsible for vertical entrainment of mean kinetic energy as identified using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition. This work is a collaboration with colleagues, postdocs and students involved in the WINDINSPIRE project and is supported by the US National Science Foundation.

BIO: Professor Meneveau holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Chile, 1985), a Master of Science and a Master of Philosophy from Yale University (1987 and 1988, respectively), and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University (1989). Currently, Charles Meneveau is Full Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Johns Hopkins University, as well as this, he is the Director of the Centre for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Sciences of that university. Among some of the honours Charles Meneveau has received, we mention the Stanley Corrsin Award from the American Physical Society. Professor Meneveau’s research interests focus on fluid mechanics, in particular on the modelling of turbulent flows. He has been editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and the Journal of Turbulence, and has been in the editorial board of the Annual Rev. of Fluid Mechanics, Theor.; Comput. Fluid Dynamics, and Physics of Fluids.

Organized by: 14th Pan-American Congress of Applied Mechanics
When: Monday, March 27th, 2014 at 8:30 AM
Where: Hotel Nippon. Barón Pierre de Coubertin 62, Santiago, Chile

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