Nonsteady Load Responses to Daytime Atmospheric Turbulence Eddies on the DOE 1.5 MW Wind Turbine at NREL

James Brasseur, Jennifer Morris, Edward Hart, Jonathan Keller, Yi Guo

Research output: NRELPresentation


Field data collected from the NREL/GE 1.5MW wind turbine (WT) and met tower (MetT) at the NREL Wind Technology Center near Boulder, CO June-October 2018 were analyzed to quantify the impacts of turbulence eddies on the load responses measured from sensors on the main shaft, blade and tower. The passage of individual mountain-generated eddies from the met tower to the WT were critically determined by correlating the optimal time shifts in signal between MetT and nacelle anemometers with mean advection time. Loading responses from mountain eddy passage were compared with atmospheric eddies from the north/south, unimpeded by the mountains, and found to be similar. Whereas time variations in torque were highly correlated with time changes in horizontal eddy velocity, the out-of-plane bending moments on the main shaft (directly forcing the main bearing) were uncorrelated with horizontal eddy velocity. This result is consistent with a previous LES study indicating that the main bearing is forced by asymmetrical interactions between the WT rotor and turbulence eddies, while power fluctuations respond primarily to advective eddy velocity. Surprisingly, the nacelle anemometer produced statistics very similar to the MetT.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 75th Annual Meeting of the of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, 20-22 November 2022, Indianapolis, Indiana

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-84553


  • main bearing
  • reliability
  • turbulence


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