In this work a wind tunnel with an open jet configuration is investigated for use in offshore wind turbine testing. This study characterizes the open-jet wind-tunnel using measurements of the velocity field detailing mean velocities and turbulence intensities with and without a scaled wind turbine. Measurements have been taken downstream to evaluate the expected area of turbine operation and the shear zone. The effects on the flow due to the wake and turbine blockage have also been identified. Additionally, the combination of honeycomb and screens necessary to produce a homogeneous flow at the desired velocity with low turbulence intensity has been identified.
This work provides a useful data set that will be used as a benchmark to evaluate the benefits of recirculating wind tunnels. The data set has resulted in identifying conditions that would prevent producing the desired flows. The data set has also resulted in recommendations concerning the shape of the wind tunnel sections at the University of Maine’s wind-wave (W2) facility to minimize its interactions with the turbine wake expansion, turbine blockage, and the turbine associated wake shear zone.