Experimental analysis of radially resolved dynamic inflow effects due to pitch steps

Frederik Berger, David Onnen, Gerard Schepers, Martin Kühn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The dynamic inflow effect denotes the unsteady aerodynamic response to fast changes in rotor loading due to a gradual adaption of the wake. This does lead to load overshoots. The objective of the paper was to increase the understanding of that effect based on pitch step experiments on a 1.8 m diameter model wind turbine, which are performed in the large open jet wind tunnel of ForWind – University of Oldenburg. The flow in the rotor plane is measured with a 2D laser Doppler anemometer, and the dynamic wake induction factor transients in axial and tangential direction are extracted. Further, integral load measurements with strain gauges and hot-wire measurements in the near and close far wake are performed. The results show a clear gradual decay of the axial induction factors after a pitch step, giving the first direct experimental evidence of dynamic inflow due to pitch steps. Two engineering models are fitted to the induction factor transients to further investigate the relevant time constants of the dynamic inflow process. The radial dependency of the axial induction time constants as well as the dependency on the pitch direction is discussed. It is confirmed that the nature of the dynamic inflow decay is better described by two rather than only one time constant. The dynamic changes in wake radius are connected to the radial dependency of the axial induction transients. In conclusion, the comparative discussion of inductions, wake deployment and loads facilitate an improved physical understanding of the dynamic inflow process for wind turbines. Furthermore, these measurements provide a new detailed validation case for dynamic inflow models and other types of simulations.
Translated title of the contributionExperimentele analyse van radiaal opgeloste dynamische instroomeffecten als gevolg van toonhoogtestappen
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1361
Number of pages21
JournalWind Energy Science
VolumeVolume 6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • energietransitie
  • wind energy
  • wind turbines
  • Wind turbine aerodynamics
  • dynamic inflow
  • wind tunnel measurements


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