Fractional Flow Speed-Up from Porous Windbreaks for Enhanced Wind-Turbine Power

Nicolas Tobin, Ali M. Hamed, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential for porous windbreaks to enhance wind-turbine power production is studied using linearized theory and wind-tunnel experiments. Results suggest that windbreaks have the potential to substantially increase power production, while lowering mean shear, and leading to negligible changes in turbulence intensity. The fractional increase in turbine power output is found to vary roughly linearly with windbreak height, where a windbreak 10% the height of the turbine hub increases power by around 10%. Wind-tunnel experiments with a windbreak imposed beneath a turbulent boundary layer show the linearized predictions to be in good agreement with particle-image-velocimetry data. Power measurements from a model turbine further corroborate predictions in power increase. Moreover, the wake of the windbreak showed a significant interaction with the turbine wake, which may inform windbreak use in large wind farms. Power measurements from a second turbine downwind of the first with its own windbreak show that the net effect for multiple turbines is dependent on windbreak height.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-271
Number of pages19
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Boundary layer
  • Linear theory
  • Wind power
  • Wind turbine
  • Windbreak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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