Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11

References

  1. Adrian RJ, Meinhart CD, Tomkins CD (2000) Vortex organization in the outer region of the turbulent boundary layer. J Fluid Mech 422:1–54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Arya SPS (1975) A drag partition theory for determining the large-scale roughness parameter and wind stress on the Arctic pack ice. J Geophys Res 80(24):3447–3454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Baltaxe R (1967) Air flow patterns in the lee of model windbreaks. Arch Meteorol Geophys Bioklimatol Ser B 15(3):287–312

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Batchelor GK, Proudman I (1954) The effect of rapid distortion of a fluid in turbulent motion. Q J Mech Appl Math 7(1):83–103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Belcher SE, Hunt JCR (1998) Turbulent flow over hills and waves. Annu Rev Fluid Mech 30(1):507–538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Britter RE, Hunt JCR, Richards KJ (1981) Air flow over a two-dimensional hill: studies of velocity speed-up, roughness effects and turbulence. Q J R Meteorol Soc 107:91–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bywaters G, John V, Lynch J, Mattilaand G, Norton P, Stowell J, Salata M, Labath O, Chertok A, Hablanian D (2004) Northern power systems WindPACT drive train alternative design study report. Tech Rep NREL/SR-500-35524, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

  8. Cal RB, Lebrón J, Castillo L, Kang HS, Meneveau C (2010) Experimental study of the horizontally averaged flow structure in a model wind-turbine array boundary layer. J Renew Sustain Energy 2(1):013,106.

  9. Calaf M, Meneveau C, Meyers J (2010) Large eddy simulation study of fully developed wind-turbine array boundary layers. Phys Fluids 22(1):015,110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chen TY, Liou LR (2011) Blockage corrections in wind tunnel tests of small horizontal-axis wind turbines. Exp Therm Fluid Sci 35(3):565–569

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cleugh HA (1998) Effects of windbreaks on airflow, microclimates and crop yields. Agrofor Syst 41(1):55–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cohen J, Schweizer T, Laxson A, Butterfield S, Schreck L, Fingersh L, Veers P, Ashwill T (2008) Technology improvement opportunities for low wind speed turbines and implications for cost of energy reduction. Tech Rep NREL/TP-500-41036, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

  13. Cornelis WM, Gabriels D (2005) Optimal windbreak design for wind-erosion control. J Arid Environ 61(2):315–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Counihan J, Hunt JCR, Jackson PS (1974) Wakes behind two-dimensional surface obstacles in turbulent boundary layers. J Fluid Mech 64(3):529–564

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dong Z, Luo W, Qian G, Wang H (2007) A wind tunnel simulation of the mean velocity fields behind upright porous fences. Agric For Meteorol 146(1):82–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Fang FM, Wang DY (1997) On the flow around a vertical porous fence. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 67:415–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Frandsen S (1992) On the wind speed reduction in the center of large clusters of wind turbines. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 39(1–3):251–265

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hagen LJ, Skidmore EL (1971) Turbulent velocity fluctuations and vertical flow as affected by windbreak porosity. Trans ASAE 14(4):634–0637

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Hideharu M (1991) Realization of a large-scale turbulence field in a small wind tunnel. Fluid Dyn Res 8(1–4):53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Hunt JCR, Carruthers DJ (1990) Rapid distortion theory and the ’problems’ of turbulence. J Fluid Mech 212:497–532

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Ishida M, Sakaguchi D, Ueki H (2000) Suppression of rotating stall by wall roughness control in vaneless diffusers of centrifugal blowers. In: ASME turbo expo 2000: power for land, sea, and air, American society of mechanical engineers, pp V001T03A035–V001T03A035

  22. Jensen M (1974) The aerodynamics of shelter. In: FAO Conservation Guide (FAO)

  23. Johnson E, Fontaine AA, Jonson ML, Meyer RS, Straka WA, Young S, van Dam CP, Shiu H, Barone M (2013) A 1:8.7 scale water tunnel test of an axial flow water turbine. In: Proceedings of the 1st marine energy technology symposium

  24. Kaimal JC, Finnigan JJ (1994) Atmospheric boundary layer flows: their structure and measurement. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  25. Kort J (1988) Benefits of windbreaks to field and forage crops. Agric Ecosyst Environ 22:165–190

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. LaNier MW (2005) LWST Phase i project conceptual design study: evaluation of design and construction approaches for economical hybrid steel/concrete wind turbine towers; June 28, 2002–July 31, 2004. Tech Rep NREL/SR-500-36777, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

  27. Lantz E, Hand M, Wiser R (2012) The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy. In: Fellows C (ed) Proceedings of the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum. American Solar Energy Society

  28. Lemelin DR, Surry D, Davenport AG (1988) Simple approximations for wind speed-up over hills. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 28(1):117–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Malcolm DJ, Hansen AC (2006) WindPACT turbine rotor design study. Tech Rep NREL/SR-500-32495, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

  30. Meneveau C (2012) The top-down model of wind farm boundary layers and its applications. J Turbul 13:N7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Moné C, Smith A, Maples B, Hand M (2015) 2013 Cost of wind energy. Tech Rep NREL/TP-5000-63267, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

  32. Ogawa Y, Diosey PG (1967) Surface roughness and thermal stratification effects on the flow behind a two-dimensional fence-I. Field study. Atmos Environ 14(11):1301–1308

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Palma JMLM, Castro FA, Ribeiro LF, Rodrigues AH, Pinto AP (2008) Linear and nonlinear models in wind resource assessment and wind turbine micro-siting in complex terrain. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 96(12):2308–2326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Patton EG, Shaw RH, Judd MJ, Raupach MR (1998) Large-eddy simulation of windbreak flow. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 87(2):275–307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Plate EJ (1971) The aerodynamics of shelter belts. Agric Meteorol 8:203–222

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Pope SB (2001) Turbulent flows. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 802 pp

    Google Scholar 

  37. Raine JK, Stevenson DC (1977) Wind protection by model fences in a simulated atmospheric boundary layer. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 2(2):159–180

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Shen X, Zhu X, Du Z (2011) Wind turbine aerodynamics and loads control in wind shear flow. Energy 36(3):1424–1434

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Shiu H, van Dam CP, Johnson E, Barone M, Phillips R, Straka W, Fontaine A, Jonson M (2012) A design of a hydrofoil family for current-driven marine-hydrokinetic turbines. In: Proceedings of the 2012 20th international conference on nuclear engineering collocated with the ASME 2012 power conference ICONE20-POWER2012, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

  40. Wang H, Takle ES (1995) A numerical simulation of boundary-layer flows near shelterbelts. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 75(1):141–173

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Leonardo P. Chamorro.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tobin, N., Hamed, A.M. & Chamorro, L.P. Fractional Flow Speed-Up from Porous Windbreaks for Enhanced Wind-Turbine Power. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 163, 253–271 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-016-0228-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Boundary layer
  • Linear theory
  • Windbreak
  • Wind power
  • Wind turbine