Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gary Pawlas

Second Advisor

Patrick Moriarty

Third Advisor

Lucy Pao

Abstract

Wind farms have been used on large scales to increase the amount of power produced while minimizing the interconnection costs to decrease the overall cost of energy. However placing these wind turbines in close proximity to one another has reduced the performance of wind turbines due to wake loss effects. By modeling wind turbines using actuator disk theory and modeling wakes using the PARK and Mosaic Tile wake models, two different optimization methods are used in this research to determine the ideal axial induction factor configuration in order to minimize wake loss effects to improve the overall performance of a wind farm. Lowering the axial induction factor allows for more wind to pass through the upstream wind turbines reducing the wake loss effects so that downwind turbines can produce more power. Through this research it has been shown that with the optimization of the axial induction factors a 4% to 6% increase in power can be obtained depending on the size of the wind farm, the turbine spacing, and the number of turbines controlled. Additionally comparisons are made to the wake loss effects observed at the Horns Rev wind farm as well as wind farm control experiments performed in a wind tunnel at the Energy research Center of the Netherlands. With this further study may be performed to extend the optimized axial induction factor configurations to determine optimized pitch and rotor speed control strategies

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