Local topography-induced pressure gradient effects on the wake and power output of a model wind turbine

Tengfei Cai, Shyuan Cheng, Antonio Segalini, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wind-tunnel experiments were performed to study the effect of favorable and adverse constant pressure gradients (PG) from local changes in the topography right downwind of a model wind turbine. Particle image velocimetry was used to characterize the near and intermediate wake regions. We explored five scenarios, two favorable, two adverse PG, and a case with negligible PG. Results show that the PGs induce a wake deflection and modulate the wake. They imposed a relatively small impact on the turbulence kinetic energy and kinematic shear stress but a comparatively dominant effect on the bulk flow on the flow recovery. Based on this, a simple formulation is used to describe the impact of PG on the wake. We modeled the base flow through a linearized perturbation method; the wake is obtained by solving a simplified, integrated streamwise momentum equation. This approach reasonably estimated the flow profile and PG-induced power output variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100297
JournalTheoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Power output
  • Pressure gradient
  • Topographic effects
  • Turbine wake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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