Comparison of Mean and Dynamic Wake Characteristics between Research-Scale and Full-Scale Wind Turbines

Research output: NRELPoster


Comprehensive utility-scale wake measurements from commercial wind plants are difficult to obtain. As a result, research in wind farm aerodynamics is often based on smaller-scale measurements and on numerical experiments. It is therefore crucial for the scientific community to understand how results compare across scales. In this work, three actuator-line large-eddy simulations are performed to investigate the sensitivity of mean and dynamic wake characteristics to changes in hub height (for the same turbine model) and in rotor size and properties (for a research-scale and a land-based-scale rotor at the same hub height). Results reveal that ground proximity has a large effect on wake expansion via turbulent transport of axial momentum and on the magnitude of lateral and vertical meandering. The rotor-size experiment suggests that wakes from different-scale turbines expand similarly when not limited by the ground, but that the meandering magnitude is not easily translatable across scales. Finally, the short-rotor wake recovers faster than the tall-rotor wake, but the far wakes of the different-sized rotors at the same absolute height are scalable.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at Torque 2018: The Science of Making Torque from Wind, 20-22 June 2018, Milan, Italy

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5000-71556


  • full-scale wind turbines
  • measurements
  • short rotor
  • wake characteristics
  • wind farm aerodynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of Mean and Dynamic Wake Characteristics between Research-Scale and Full-Scale Wind Turbines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this