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Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Hangan, Horia M.

2nd Supervisor

Crawford, Curran


University of Victoria



The possibility of simulating deterministic extreme operational conditions for horizontal axis wind turbines based on the IEC 61400-1 standard in the WindEEE Dome at Western University was investigated. WindEEE has 60 fans (a matrix of 4 by 15 with 0.8m diameter each) on one of the walls to generate straight and sheared flows. These fans were controlled by their power set-points and by their adjustable Inlet Guiding Vanes (IGV) to generate the Extreme Operational Gust (EOG), positive and negative Extreme Vertical Shear (EVS), and Extreme Horizontal Shear (EHS) cases as per IEC 61400-1 standard to be further applied for testing a scaled 2.2 m Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT). First, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the WindEEE test chamber were carried out in order to predict the fans setups for each of these extreme conditions. The experiments were then carried out using these settings and a comparison was performed between the resulting flow field time histories and the prescribed conditions from the standard. The results showed a successful simulation of these extreme conditions. The extreme conditions were then applied to investigate the power and load performance of the scaled HAWT. The results revealed that the unsteady shears had no significant impact on the overall power generation. EHS induced a significant twisting moment on the structure. The EOG has the most noticeable effect which highly depends on the operational tip speed ratio (TSR) of the wind turbine and the time duration of the event.

Summary for Lay Audience

The main goal of this study is to develop a physical simulation of simplified extreme wind conditions (extreme operational gust and extreme wind shears) that are dynamic and defined by a standard for wind turbines; then investigate the effect of these extreme conditions on the overall performance of a model wind turbine. Being able to simulate these dynamic flow fields can be a contribution for future scholars working in the wind energy area to make these wind energy systems more reliable and predictable by bringing the possibility of experimental validation for computer simulations of these transient events and their effects on wind turbines. All these together can help accelerate the decreasing price of energy being produced by these machines.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.