Field experiment for open-loop yaw-based wake steering at a commercial onshore wind farm in Italy
van Wingerden, J.W.
The concept of wake steering on wind farms for power maximization has gained significant popularity over the last decade. Recent field trials described in the literature not only demonstrate the real potential of wake steering on commercial wind farms but also show that wake steering does not yet consistently lead to an increase in energy production for all inflow conditions. Moreover, a recent survey among experts shows that validation of the concept currently remains the largest barrier to adoption. In response, this article presents the results of a field experiment investigating wake steering in three-turbine arrays at an onshore wind farm in Italy. This experiment was performed as part of the European CL-Windcon project. While important, this experiment excludes an analysis of the structural loads and focuses solely on the effects of wake steering on power production. The measurements show increases in power production of up to 35 % for two-turbine interactions and up to 16 % for three-turbine interactions. However, losses in power production are seen for various regions of wind directions too. In addition to the gains achieved through wake steering at downstream turbines, more interesting to note is that a significant share in gains is from the upstream turbines, showing an increased power production of the yawed turbine itself compared to baseline operation for some wind directions. Furthermore, the surrogate model, while capturing the general trends of wake interaction, lacks the details necessary to accurately represent the measurements. This article supports the notion that further research is necessary, notably on the topics of wind farm modeling and experiment design, before wake steering will lead to consistent energy gains on commercial wind farms.
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Wind Energy Science, 6 (6)