Wind Turbine Wake Characterization from Temporally Disjunct 3-D Measurements

Matthew Churchfield, Paula Doubrawa, Rebecca Barthelmie, Hui Wang, S. Pryor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus Citations


Scanning LiDARs can be used to obtain three-dimensional wind measurements in and beyond the atmospheric surface layer. In this work, metrics characterizing wind turbine wakes are derived from LiDAR observations and from large-eddy simulation (LES) data, which are used to recreate the LiDAR scanning geometry. The metrics are calculated for two-dimensional planes in the vertical and cross-stream directions at discrete distances downstream of a turbine under single-wake conditions. The simulation data are used to estimate the uncertainty when mean wake characteristics are quantified from scanning LiDAR measurements, which are temporally disjunct due to the time that the instrument takes to probe a large volume of air. Based on LES output, we determine that wind speeds sampled with the synthetic LiDAR are within 10% of the actual mean values and that the disjunct nature of the scan does not compromise the spatial variation of wind speeds within the planes. We propose scanning geometry density and coverage indices, which quantify the spatial distribution of the sampled points in the area of interest and are valuable to design LiDAR measurement campaigns for wake characterization. We find that scanning geometry coverage is important for estimates of the wake center, orientation and length scales, while density is more important when seeking to characterize the velocity deficit distribution.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number939
Number of pages18
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-67719


  • Energy
  • LiDAR
  • Turbine
  • Wakes
  • Wind


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