New Generation of Wind Scanners Developed by DTU

Friday 21 Dec 18


Torben Krogh Mikkelsen
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 50 09

Researchers in the meteorological section at DTU Wind Energy have developed a new type of wind scanners. The new wind scanners can measure the vortex currents in the tip vortex.

Researchers at DTU Wind Energy have developed and tested a new generation of short-range wind scanners which with six-inch optics have a sufficiently high resolution to measure tip vortices from measurements behind the turbine from ground level.

As the first in the world, the researchers have made measurements of eddy current in the so-called tip vortices with the new wind scanners.

Tip vortex are circular patterns of rotating air behind e.g. a wind turbine blade or an aircraft wing. Up until now, it has not been possible to measure vortex from the big turbines directly in the air behind the turbines, "explains Torben Krogh Mikkelsen, professor at DTU Wind Energy:

"At DTU Wind Energy, we have just performed the world's first measurements of the vortex currents in the so-called tip vortices which are formed from aircraft wings and wind turbine blades. The background is that we have just developed and tested a new generation of windscreens, which with 6-inch optics can now dissolve wind structures with up to 20 centimetres resolution measured from the ground behind the turbines."

New and better design of Turbine Blades
We have just recently succeeded at measuring the very small movements of the fast-moving air just behind the wind turbine spikes. There are many different speeds inside the swirls, also called tip vortices. 

The measurements were performed at DTU's own test turbine, a V52 test turbine, which is on the field at DTU Risø Campus.

"The reason why it is interesting to measure tip vortices is that they are very important for how well the blade utilises the wind. The less energy devoted to these tip vortices, the better the production of electricity and hence the turbine economy, "explains Torben Krogh Mikkelsen.

There are clear indications that the new wind scanner based measurement activity, in conjunction with the detailed CFD calculation programs of tip vortices and wake currents, could lead to new and better-designed wind turbine blades.