Characterization of a Wind Generation System for Use in Offshore Wind Turbine Development
Publication Name: Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
Environmental conditions created by winds blowing oblique to the direction of the waves are necessary to conduct some survivability tests of offshore wind turbines. However, some facilities lack the capability to generate quality waves at a wide range of angles. Thus, having a wind generation system that can be rotated makes generating winds that blow oblique to the waves possible during survivability tests. Rotating the wind generation system may disrupt the flow generated by the fans because of the effect of adjacent walls. Closed or semiclosed wind tunnels may eliminate the issue of wall effects, but these types of wind tunnels could be difficult to position within a wave basin. In this work, a prototype wind generation system that can be adapted for offshore wind turbine testing is investigated. The wind generation system presented in this work has a return that minimizes the effect that the walls could potentially have on the fans. This study characterizes the configuration of a wind generation system using measurements of the velocity field, detailing mean velocities, flow directionality, and turbulence intensities. Measurements were taken downstream to evaluate the expected area of turbine operation and the shear zone. The dataset has aided in the identification of conditions that could potentially prevent the production of the desired flows. Therefore, this work provides a useful dataset that could be used in the design of wind generation systems and in the evaluation of the benefits of recirculating wind generation systems for offshore wind turbine research.