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IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2013 Sep;19(9):1579-91. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2013.18.

Visualization and analysis of vortex-turbine intersections in wind farms.

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Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Characterizing the interplay between the vortices and forces acting on a wind turbine's blades in a qualitative and quantitative way holds the potential for significantly improving large wind turbine design. This paper introduces an integrated pipeline for highly effective wind and force field analysis and visualization. We extract vortices induced by a turbine's rotation in a wind field, and characterize vortices in conjunction with numerically simulated forces on the blade surfaces as these vortices strike another turbine's blades downstream. The scientifically relevant issue to be studied is the relationship between the extracted, approximate locations on the blades where vortices strike the blades and the forces that exist in those locations. This integrated approach is used to detect and analyze turbulent flow that causes local impact on the wind turbine blade structure. The results that we present are based on analyzing the wind and force field data sets generated by numerical simulations, and allow domain scientists to relate vortex-blade interactions with power output loss in turbines and turbine life expectancy. Our methods have the potential to improve turbine design to save costs related to turbine operation and maintenance.


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