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Using Wavelet Analysis to Assess Turbulence/Rotor Interactions


  • The original version of this article won the outstanding paper award at the 19th ASME Wind Energy Symposium, Reno, NV, USA 10–13 January 2000.


Large loading events on wind turbine rotor blades are often associated with transient bursts of coherent turbulent energy in the turbine inflow. These coherent turbulent structures are identified as peaks in the three-dimensional, instantaneous, turbulent shearing stress field. Such organized inflow structures and the accompanying rotor aeroelastic responses typically have timescales of only a few seconds and therefore do not lend themselves to analysis by conventional Fourier spectral techniques. Wavelet analysis offers the ability to study more closely the spectral decomposition of short-period events such as the interaction of coherent turbulence with a moving rotor blade. In this paper we discuss our initial progress in the application of wavelet analysis techniques to the decomposition and interpretation of turbulence/rotor interaction. We discuss the results of using both continuous and discrete wavelet transforms for our application. Several examples are given of the techniques applied to both observed turbulence and turbine responses and those generated using numerical simulations. We found that the presence of coherent turbulent structures, as revealed by the inflow Reynolds stress field, is a major contributor to large load excursions. These bursts of coherent turbulent energy induce a broadband aeroelastic response in the turbine rotor as it passes through them. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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