Wake and power fluctuations of a model wind turbine subjected to pitch and roll oscillations

Shifeng Fu, Yaqing Jin, Yuan Zheng, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wind-tunnel experiments were performed to inspect the impact of a variety of pitch and roll oscillations of a model wind turbine on the instantaneous power output and wake. Particle image velocimetry and hotwire anemometry were used to characterize the flow in the wake; instantaneous power output was also obtained in each of the configurations. For comparison, measurements were also performed in a fixed wind turbine. Results show that the wake at the turbine symmetry plane is significantly altered by the imposed motions, where rolling induced the lowest momentum deficit. The mean power output of the turbine increased with moderate tower oscillations, namely ≲10°, independent of the type of motion. We argue that this is due to, at least, two distinctive processes. Namely, a relative gain due to the cube of the relative incoming velocity impinging the rotor in the pitching, and a momentum replenish in the rolling motion The power fluctuations exhibited a peak on the spectral content of the spectrum ΦP coincident with the frequencies of the pitching and rolling. They also revealed the effects of the oscillation within the low-frequency content of ΦP, which was likely due to the oscillation-driven changes in the aerodynamics of the blades. In particular, the pitch reduced the energy of the power fluctuations within frequencies below that of the pitching frequency, with stronger effect at larger amplitude of oscillations, θ. However, the roll motions reduced the energy of the power fluctuations in a relatively narrow band, and notorious only with θ≳10°.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113605
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Pitch and roll motions
  • Power output fluctuations
  • Turbine oscillations
  • Turbine wake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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