Using a Virtual Lidar Approach to Assess the Accuracy of the Volumetric Reconstruction of a Wind Turbine Wake
Scanning Doppler lidars are the best tools for acquiring 3D velocity fields of full scale wind turbine wakes, whether the objective is a better understanding of some features of the wake or the validation of wake models. Since these lidars are based on the Doppler effect, a single scanning lidar normally relies on certain assumptions when estimating some components of the wind velocity vector. Furthermore, in order to reconstruct volumetric information, one needs to aggregate data, perform
... data, perform statistics on it and, most likely, interpolate to a convenient coordinate system, all of which introduce uncertainty in the measurements. This study simulates the performance of a virtual lidar performing stacked step-and-stare plan position indicator (PPI) scans on large-eddy simulation (LES) data, reconstructs the wake in terms of the average and the standard deviation of the longitudinal velocity component, and quantifies the errors. The variables included in the study are as follows: the location of the lidar (ground-based and nacelle-mounted), different atmospheric conditions, and varying scan speeds, which in turn determine the angular resolution of the measurements. Testing different angular resolutions allows one to find an optimum that balances the different error sources and minimizes the total error. An optimum angular resolution of 3 • has been found to provide the best results. The errors found when reconstructing the average velocity are low (less than 2% of the freestream velocity at hub height), which indicates the possibility of high quality field measurements with an optimal angular resolution. The errors made when calculating the standard deviation are similar in magnitude, although higher in relative terms than for the mean, thus leading to a poorer quality estimation of the standard deviation. This holds true for the different inflow cases studied and for both ground-based and nacelle-mounted lidars.