Experimental Investigation of Tip Vortex Meandering in the Near Wake of a Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine


1 Laboratory of Wind Power Control and Energy Valorization of Waste (LMEEVED), Research and Technology Center of Energy (CRTEn), BP 95 Hammam Lif 2050, Tunisia.

2 Laboratory of Thermal and Energy Systems Studies (LESTE), National Engineering School of Monastir, Monastir 5019, Tunisia.


The aerodynamic optimization of horizontal axis wind turbine has became one of the most important challenge in the renewable energy field. Over the past few years, many researchers have drawn more attention to the physical processes of the wind energy conversion and precisely the identification of the main causes of energy losses. This paper presents an experimental investigation of near wake dynamics for a model horizontal axis wind turbine in a wind tunnel. The coherent structures downstream of the rotor were studied for different tip speed ratios using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. The influence of the tip vortex meandering was discussed and analyzed using the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) method. The high-energy modes show that radial meandering is the most energetic source of perturbation in each tip vortex sub-region. The energy fraction of these modes increase gradually during the development of the helical tip vortex filament, which confirm the growth of vortex wandering amplitude in the near wake.