The Sandia Wake-Imaging System (SWIS) was deployed for a full-scale field demonstration at the Sandia Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility in Lubbock, Texas, in July. This successful field demonstration was a culmination of

  • over 3 years of technical development;
  • more than a year of safety, environmental, and regulatory approvals; and
  • the efforts of 20 individuals from across Sandia and its partners.
The Sandia wake-imaging system (SWIS) deployed at the Scaled Wind-Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility in July 2015.

The Sandia wake-imaging system (SWIS) deployed at the Scaled Wind-Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility in July 2015.

The team collected hours of inflow data covering a 3.5 m square viewing region along with

  • simultaneous measurements from a nearby sonic anemometer,
  • the SWiFT Sandia meteorological tower, and
  • a Pentalum SpiDAR LiDAR system operated by Texas Tech University researchers.

In the coming months, the Sandia team will analyze the over 50 GB of data collected to learn more about how the SWIS operates in the field and what improvements would be most effective at helping achieve experimental measurement requirements for the next campaign.

A view upwind of SWIS’ aerosol-generating system.

A view upwind of SWIS’ aerosol-generating system.

SWIS was developed to improve the spatial- and temporal-resolution capabilities of velocity measurements within wind farms. These high-resolution velocity measurements are needed to provide the necessary data for validating high-fidelity simulations. SWIS uses a technology (explained thoroughly in a previous report) where the velocity component measured and quality of the measurement depends on the configuration of the

  • transmitter (laser sheet),
  • receiver (camera), and
  • viewing region.

As a result of the complicated measurement dependence on setup configuration and the need to meet the validation requirements at many locations in a wind-turbine wake, a software tool that models SWIS physics was developed to better predict and anticipate the system’s performance when deployed at SWiFT. Data from the recent field test will be used to verify the accuracy of this tool for future test campaign planning.

Example SWIS equipment configuration at SWiFT for near-wake experiments.

Example SWIS equipment configuration at SWiFT for near-wake experiments.

The experience and data obtained from this recent field test will be used to guide the next phase of the project in the coming year. Through ongoing discussions with high-fidelity modelers and experimentalists with complimentary instrumentation, the SWIS team will refine the system to meet upcoming experimental objectives. This may include upgrades to hardware and software systems as well as data post-processing techniques to prepare for future verification and validation exercises planned under the DOE’s Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) and other research programs.