Nicolas Coudou
PhD student
Ir. at UMONS in 2015

Main project: Numerical and experimental investigations of the meandering phenomenon in wind turbines wakes
Funding: FRIA
Supervisor(s): Philippe Chatelain

Large wind farms with installed capacities that reach up to 1GW cover 11.5% (end 2015) of the electrical power demand in the European Union for a normal wind year. This share is foreseen to increase dramatically by the year 2020 ; it will be translated in more, and larger, clustered wind farms.

An important aspect of wind farm design is the farm layout optimization. It consists in optimally positioning the wind turbines within the wind farm so that the wake effects are minimized in order to maximize the efficiency and the lifetime of downstream turbines. It is therefore essential to have an in- depth knowledge of wind turbine wake flow physics. More specifically, the vortical wake meandering is a well-known phenomenon for which the fundamental turbulence mechanisms are not yet well understood. This phenomenon causes the wake to be swept in and out of the rotor disk of downstream turbines. It is thus critical to understand it to predict mechanical fatigue and loading on the downstream turbines.

The aim of this project is to study in-depth the wake meandering phenomenon using a combination of advanced experimental and numerical tools.

The numerical studies will rely on a high performance implementation of a state-of-the-art Vortex Method. The advanced turbulence models (Large Eddy Simulation, LES) implemented as well as an original actuator line model will allow to capture very fine physical details of the wake turbulence to better understand the physical phenomenon considered.

The phenomenon will be also studied on a scaled wind farm located in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel (VKI atmospheric wind tunnel, 2x3 m section, 50 m/s, a remarkable facility at European scale). The experiments to be carried will provide stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV) results to validate the numerical approach.

IMMC main research direction(s):
Fluid mechanics

vortex method
wake flows
wind turbine

Research group(s): TFL
Collaborations: External supervisors : Laurent Bricteux (UMONS) & Jeroen van Beeck (VKI)

Recent publications

See complete list of publications

Journal Articles

1. Moens, Maud; Coudou, Nicolas; Chatelain, Philippe. A numerical study of correlations between wake meandering and loads within a wind farm. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series Paper, Vol. 1256, no.1, p. 012012 (2019). doi:doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1256/1/012012.

2. Coudou, Nicolas; Buckingham, Sophia; Bricteux, Laurent; van Beeck, Jeroen. Experimental study on the wake meandering within a scale model wind farm subject to a wind-tunnel flow simulating an atmospheric boundary layer. In: Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol. 167, no.1, p. 77-98 (2018). doi:10.1007/s10546-017-0320-8.

3. Coudou, Nicolas; Moens, Maud; Marichal, Yves; Van Beeck, Jeroen; Bricteux, Laurent; Chatelain, Philippe. Development of wake meandering detection algorithms and their application to large eddy simulations of an isolated wind turbine and a wind farm. In: Journal of Physics Conference Series, Vol. 1037, no. 1037, p. 072024 (2018). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1037/7/072024.

Conference Papers

1. Lejeune, Maxime; Moens, Maud; Coquelet, Marion; Coudou, Nicolas; Chatelain, Philippe. Development of an online wind turbine wake model.

2. Lejeune, Maxime; Coquelet, Marion; Coudou, Nicolas; Moens, Maud; Chatelain, Philippe. Development and validation of a wake model fed by blade loads estimated wind conditions.

3. Lejeune, Maxime; Coquelet, Marion; Coudou, Nicolas; Moens, Maud; Chatelain, Philippe. Data assimilation for the prediction of wake trajectories within wind farms.

4. Coudou, Nicolas; Buckingham, S.; van Beeck, J.. Experimental study on the wind-turbine wake meandering inside a scale model wind farm placed in an atmospheric-boundary-layer wind tunnel. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Vol. 854, no.1, p. 012008 (2017). IOP Publishing, 2017. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/854/1/012008.