Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have met a major project milestone as part of the Department of Energy Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) Wake Steering Experiment being conducted at the Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) Facility. The team successfully installed the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Wind Energy Department’s SpinnerLidar into the nacelle (the drivetrain enclosure) of one of the SWiFT site turbines, as shown. Following the installation, the turbine was set to produce power while the SpinnerLidar scanned the wake between 27m and 135m downstream. The processed data plotted in this graphic
shows a wake structure (lower speed blue area) as it travels downstream from the turbine rotor pictured from left to right in the plot compiled over about 30 seconds.
With this key instrument successfully installed and operating, the researchers will now turn to the challenging task of characterizing the wake location and structure under a variety of inflow and turbine states. Over the next few months, synchronized data from the met tower, turbine, and LIDAR will be collected across different inflow and turbine conditions according to a test matrix. The data will then be statistically analyzed and compared to simulation results from computational models of the SWiFT site completed prior to the experiment. The final objective is to calibrate and validate the models for improved predictions of future wind plant performance. All of the data from the experiment will be available publicly through the DOE A2e Data Archive and Portal.