An Empirically Based Stochastic Turbulence Simulator with Temporal Coherence for Wind Energy Applications

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In this dissertation, we develop a novel methodology for characterizing and simulating nonstationary, full-field, stochastic turbulent wind fields.

In this new method, nonstationarity is characterized and modeled via temporal coherence, which is quantified in the discrete frequency domain by probability distributions of the differences in phase between adjacent Fourier components.

The empirical distributions of the phase differences can also be extracted from measured data, and the resulting temporal coherence parameters can quantify the occurrence of nonstationarity in empirical wind data.

This dissertation (1) implements temporal coherence in a desktop turbulence simulator, (2) calibrates empirical temporal coherence models for four wind datasets, and (3) quantifies the increase in lifetime wind turbine loads caused by temporal coherence.

The four wind datasets were intentionally chosen from locations around the world so that they had significantly different ambient atmospheric conditions.

The prevalence of temporal coherence and its relationship to other standard wind parameters was modeled through empirical joint distributions (EJDs), which involved fitting marginal distributions and calculating correlations.

EJDs have the added benefit of being able to generate samples of wind parameters that reflect the characteristics of a particular site.

Lastly, to characterize the effect of temporal coherence on design loads, we created four models in the open-source wind turbine simulator FAST based on the \windpact turbines, fit response surfaces to them, and used the response surfaces to calculate lifetime turbine responses to wind fields simulated with and without temporal coherence.

The training data for the response surfaces was generated from exhaustive FAST simulations that were run on the high-performance computing (HPC) facilities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This process was repeated for wind field parameters drawn from the empirical distributions and for wind samples drawn using the recommended procedure in the wind turbine design standard \iec.

The effect of temporal coherence was calculated as a percent increase in the lifetime load over the base value with no temporal coherence.





Rinker, Jennifer Marie (2016). An Empirically Based Stochastic Turbulence Simulator with Temporal Coherence for Wind Energy Applications. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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