LIDAR Wind Speed Measurements of Evolving Wind Fields

Alan Wright, Alan Wright (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems are able to measure the speed of incoming wind before it interacts with a wind turbine rotor. These preview wind measurements can be used in feedforward control systems designed to reduce turbine loads. However, the degree to which such preview-based control techniques can reduce loads by reacting to turbulence depends on how accurately the incomingwind field can be measured. Past studies have assumed Taylor's frozen turbulence hypothesis, which implies that turbulence remains unchanged as it advects downwind at the mean wind speed. With Taylor's hypothesis applied, the only source of wind speed measurement error is distortion caused by the LIDAR. This study introduces wind evolution, characterized by the longitudinal coherence of thewind, to LIDAR measurement simulations to create a more realistic measurement model. A simple model of wind evolution is applied to a frozen wind field used in previous studies to investigate the effects of varying the intensity of wind evolution. LIDAR measurements are also evaluated with a large eddy simulation of a stable boundary layer provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Simulation results show the combined effects of LIDAR errors and wind evolution for realistic turbine-mounted LIDAR measurement scenarios.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages44
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5000-55516


  • feed-forward controls
  • longitudinal coherence
  • Taylor's hypothesis
  • wind evolution
  • wind turbine controls


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