Using Time-Frequency and Wavelet Analysis to Assess Turbulence/Rotor Interactions (Preprint)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Large loading events on wind turbine rotor blades are often associated with transient bursts of coherent turbulent energy in the turbine inflow. These coherent turbulent structures are identified as peaks in the three-dimensional, instantaneous, turbulent shearing stress field. Such organized inflow structures and the accompanying rotor aeroelastic responses typically have time scales of only afew seconds and therefore do not lend themselves for analysis by conventional Fourier spectral techniques. Time-frequency analysis (and wavelet analysis in particular) offers the ability to more closely study the spectral decomposition of short period events such as the interaction of coherent turbulence with a moving rotor blade. In this paper, we discuss our initial progress in the applicationof time-frequency analysis techniques to the decomposition and interpretation of turbulence/rotor interaction. We discuss the results of applying both the continuous and discrete wavelet transforms for our application. Several examples are given of the techniques applied to both observed turbulence and turbine responses and those generated using numerical simulations. We found that the presenceof coherent turbulent structures, as revealed by the inflow Reynolds stress field, is a major contributor to large load excursions. These bursts of coherent turbulent energy induce a broadband aeroelastic response in the turbine rotor as it passes through them.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 1999
Event19th ASME/AIAA Wind Energy Symposium - Reno, Nevada
Duration: 10 Jan 199913 Jan 1999


Conference19th ASME/AIAA Wind Energy Symposium
CityReno, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-27151


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