Field measurements of wind turbine wakes with lidars

Giacomo Valerio Iungo, Yu Ting Wu, Fernando Porté-Agel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Field measurements of the wake flow produced from a 2-MW Enercon E-70 wind turbine were performed using three scanning Doppler wind lidars. A GPS-based technique was used to determine the position of the wind turbine and the wind lidar locations, as well as the direction of the laser beams. The lidars used in this study are characterized by a high spatial resolution of 18 m, which allows the detailed characterization of the wind turbine wake. Two-dimensional measurements of wind speed were carried out by scanning a single lidar over the vertical symmetry plane of the wake. The mean axial velocity field was then retrieved by averaging 2D scans performed consecutively. To investigate wake turbulence, single lidar measurements were performed by staring the laser beam at fixed directions and using the maximum sampling frequency. From these tests, peaks in the velocity variance are detected within the wake in correspondence of the turbine top tip height; this enhanced turbulence could represent a source of dangerous fatigue loads for downstream turbines. The spectral density of the measured velocity fluctuations shows a clear inertial-range scaling behavior. Then, simultaneous measurements with two lidars were performed in order to characterize both the axial and the vertical velocity components. For this setup, the two velocity components were retrieved only for measurement points for which the two laser beams crossed nearly at a right angle. Statistics were computed over the sample set for both velocity components, and they showed strong flow fluctuations in the near-wake region at turbine top tip height, with a turbulence intensity of about 30%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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