Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor



A comprehensive experimental study was conducted to investigate wind turbine aeromechanics and wake interferences among multiple wind turbines sited in onshore and offshore wind farms. The experiments were carried out in a large-scale Aerodynamic/Atmospheric Boundary Layer (AABL) Wind Tunnel available at Iowa State University. An array of scaled three-blade Horizontal Axial Wind Turbine (HAWT) models were placed in atmospheric boundary layer winds with different mean and turbulence characteristics to simulate the situations in onshore and offshore wind farms. The effects of the important design parameters for wind farm layout optimization, which include the mean and turbulence characteristics of the oncoming surface winds, the yaw angles of the turbines with respect to the oncoming surface winds, the array spacing and layout pattern, and the terrain topology of wind farms on the turbine performances (i.e., both power output and dynamic wind loadings) and the wake interferences among multiple wind turbines, were assessed in detail. The aeromechanic performance and near wake characteristics of a novel dual-rotor wind turbine (DRWT) design with co-rotating or counter-rotating configuration were also investigated, in comparison to a conventional single rotor wind turbine (SRWT). During the experiments, in addition to measuring dynamic wind loads (both forces and moments) and the power outputs of the scaled turbine models, a high-resolution Particle Image Velocity (PIV) system was used to conduct detailed flow field measurements (i.e., both free-run and phase-locked flow fields measurements) to reveal the transient behavior of the unsteady wake vortices and turbulent flow structures behind wind turbines and to quantify the characteristics of the wake interferences among the wind turbines sited in non-homogenous surface winds. A miniature cobra anemometer was also used to provide high-temporal-resolution data at points of interest to supplement the full field PIV measurement results. The detailed flow field measurements are correlated with the dynamic wind loads and power output measurements to elucidate underlying physics in order to gain further insight into the characteristics of the power generation performance, dynamic wind loads and wake interferences of the wind turbines for higher total power yield and better durability of the wind turbines sited in atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) winds.


Copyright Owner

Ahmet Ozbay



File Format


File Size

163 pages