Aerodynamic characterization of two tandem wind turbines under yaw misalignment control using actuator line model

Yu Tu, Kai Zhang, Zhaolong Han, Dai Zhou, Onur Bilgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Yaw control has proven to be promising in alleviating the wake effects that plague the efficiency of wind farms. In this work, the actuator line modeling (ALM) method is adopted to simulate the flows over two tandem turbines distanced by 3–7 rotor diameters, with the yaw angle of the upstream rotor varying from γ1=0° to 50°. The aim is to provide a comprehensive aerodynamic characterization of this simple wind farm under yaw misalignment control. With increasing yaw angle, the power generated by the downstream rotor increases, compensating the power loss in the upstream rotor, and resulting in significantly higher total power of the two turbines than that without yaw control. The maximum power output is achieved as the upstream wake of the yawed rotor is redirected away from the downstream rotor plane. Behind the downstream rotor, the secondary steering phenomenon is observed, where the wake is also redirected from the centerline. The use of the actuator line model also reveal unsteady aerodynamic characteristics that cannot be captured by lower-fidelity models. For the upstream rotor, the yaw misalignment results in time-varying change in the local angle of attack on the blade, giving rise to unsteady loading. The downstream rotor is partially submerged in the deflected wake incurred by the yawed upstream rotor. As the blade revolves into and out of the wake deficit, the blade experiences cyclic loading, leading to even stronger fluctuations in the aerodynamic loads than the upstream rotor. These analysis provides a comprehensive understanding of the yaw control effects on the two tandem rotors from the perspectives of aerodynamic performance, wake profiles, and unsteady characteristics. The insights gained from the present study can aid the design of collective yaw control strategies of wind farms, and lay the foundation for assessing the fatigue damage associated with yaw misalignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114992
JournalOcean Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Unsteady aerodynamics
  • Wake interaction
  • Wind turbines
  • Yaw control


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