Experimental analysis of the dynamic inflow effect due to coherent gusts

Frederic Berger, Lars Neuhaus, David Onnen, Michael Hölling, Gerard Schepers, Martin Kühn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The dynamic inflow effect describes the unsteady aerodynamic response to fast changes in rotor loading due to the inertia of the wake. Fast changes in turbine loading due to pitch actuation or rotor speed transients lead to load overshoots. The phenomenon is suspected to be also relevant for gust situations; however, this was never shown, and thus the actual load response is also unknown. The paper’s objectives are to prove and explain the dynamic inflow effect due to gusts, and compare and subsequently improve a typical dynamic inflow engineering model to the measurements. An active grid is used to impress a 1.8m diameter model turbine with rotor uniform gusts of the wind tunnel flow. The influence attributed to the dynamic inflow effect is isolated from the comparison of two experimental cases. Firstly, dynamic measurements of loads and radially resolved axial velocities in the rotor plane during a gust situation are performed. Secondly, corresponding quantities are linearly interpolated for the gust wind speed from lookup tables with steady operational points. Furthermore,
simulations with a typical blade element momentum code and a higher-fidelity free-vortex wake model are performed. Both the experiment and higher-fidelity model show a dynamic inflow effect due to gusts in the loads and axial velocities. An amplification of induced velocities causes reduced load amplitudes. Consequently, fatigue loading would be lower. This amplification originates from wake inertia. It is influenced by the coherent gust pushed through the rotor like a turbulent box. The wake is superimposed on that coherent gust box, and thus the inertia of the wake and consequently also the flow in the rotor plane is affected. Contemporary dynamic inflow models inherently assume a constant wind velocity. They filter the induced velocity and thus cannot predict the observed amplification of the induced velocity. The commonly used Øye engineering model predicts increased gust load amplitudes and thus higher fatigue loads. With an extra filter term on the quasi-steady wind velocity, the qualitative behaviour observed experimentally and numerically can be caught. In conclusion, these new experimental findings on dynamic inflow due to gusts and improvements to the Øye model enable improvements in wind turbine design by less conservative fatigue loads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1827–1846
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022


  • experimental analysis
  • dynamic inflow effect
  • wind turbines


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental analysis of the dynamic inflow effect due to coherent gusts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this