Wind turbine design codes for calculating blade loads are usually based on a blade element momentum (BEM) approach. Since wind turbine rotors often operate in off-design conditions, such as yawed flow, several engineering methods have been developed to take into account such conditions. An essential feature of a BEM code is the coupling of local blade element loads with an external (induced) velocity field determined with momentum theory through the angle of attack. Local blade loads follow directly from blade pressure measurements as performed in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) phase IV campaign, but corresponding angles of attack cannot (on principle) be measured. By developing a free wake vortex method using measured local blade loads, time-dependent angle of attack and induced velocity distributions are reconstructed. In a previous paper, a method was described for deriving such distributions in conjunction with blade pressure measurements for the NREL phase VI wind turbine in axial (non-yawed) conditions. In this paper, the same method is applied to investigate yawed conditions on the same turbine. The study considered different operating conditions in yaw in both attached and separated flows over the blades. The derived free wake geometry solutions are used to determine induced velocity distributions at the rotor blade. These are then used to determine the local (azimuth time dependent) angle of attack, as well as the corresponding lift and drag for each blade section. The derived results are helpful to develop better engineering models for wind turbine design codes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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