Quantifying the effect of vortex generator installation on wind power production: An academia-industry case study.

Renewable Energy, Volume 113, 2017, Pages 1589-1597
Authors: Hoon Hwangbo, Yu Ding, Oliver Eisele, Guido Weinzierl, Ulrich Lang,
Georgios Pechlivanoglou

This paper presents an academia-industry joint study concerning effective methods to estimate and quantify the effect of vortex generator installation on wind power production. This problem has pre- sented a challenge to the wind industry, because (a) vortex generator installation may lead to a moderate 1e5% extra power production, but this level of improvement is difficult to be accurately detected; and (b) it is equally difficult to validate the estimated effect of vortex generator installation because a controlled experiment is practically impossible to conduct to provide a credible baseline. An academic institute and a wind technology company team up to tackle this challenge. The two teams develop their own version of quantification methods, which are profoundly different. The academic method uses 10-min data and makes use of both power and environmental data, whereas the company method uses high-frequency data via primarily a direct power comparison approach that relies less on the environmental data. When applying the respective methods to two inland wind farms, each of which presents four pairs of turbines, the quantification results from the two methods are surprisingly consistent. We believe the consistent outcome presents a strong case of cross validation, testifying to the respective method's capability and credibility.