Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 163, Issue 2, pp 253–271 | Cite as

Fractional Flow Speed-Up from Porous Windbreaks for Enhanced Wind-Turbine Power

  • Nicolas Tobin
  • Ali M. Hamed
  • Leonardo P. Chamorro
Research Article


The potential for porous windbreaks to enhance wind-turbine power production is studied using linearized theory and wind-tunnel experiments. Results suggest that windbreaks have the potential to substantially increase power production, while lowering mean shear, and leading to negligible changes in turbulence intensity. The fractional increase in turbine power output is found to vary roughly linearly with windbreak height, where a windbreak 10% the height of the turbine hub increases power by around 10%. Wind-tunnel experiments with a windbreak imposed beneath a turbulent boundary layer show the linearized predictions to be in good agreement with particle-image-velocimetry data. Power measurements from a model turbine further corroborate predictions in power increase. Moreover, the wake of the windbreak showed a significant interaction with the turbine wake, which may inform windbreak use in large wind farms. Power measurements from a second turbine downwind of the first with its own windbreak show that the net effect for multiple turbines is dependent on windbreak height.


Boundary layer Linear theory Windbreak Wind power Wind turbine 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant Number DGE-1144245. This work was supported by the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, through the start-up package of Leonardo P. Chamorro. The authors would like to acknowledge the work of undergraduate student Charles Tierney in designing and constructing the turbulence generator.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Tobin
    • 1
  • Ali M. Hamed
    • 1
  • Leonardo P. Chamorro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Science and EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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