Current Projects

Snowflakes based visualization/PIV of the 2.5 MW utility scale turbine wake


Objectives: In situ investigation of the near wake of the clipper liberty turbine using super large scale PIV and visualization using naturally occurring snow falls.   

Approach: An innovative environmentally benign experimental approach to better understand the complex coupling of ambient turbulence + turbine loading + resultant helical vortex system + coherent turbulent structures within the wake. The study will include wake observations under different atmospheric conditions and turbine operation regimes in realistic conditions to explore correlations between turbine characteristics and ensuing wake structures.

Outcomes:  Provide critical insights into the near wake dynamics hitherto scarcely explored either due to scalability issues or limited large scale experimental techniques. The experiments would provide a rich knowledge base for wind energy researchers working with both laboratory scale experiments and numerical analysis. 

For more information:

Minnesota Study on Wind Turbine Acoustics (MNSOWTA)

Wind turbine generated sound: Targeted research to improve measurement, analysis, and annoyance thresholds based on measured human response

Objectives: Provide data and a review of the source and characteristics of wind turbine noise. To provide methods for measuring turbine noise, including infrasound, and recommendations for wind project noise measurements.  Also to provide the wind industry with useful information on how humans react to wind turbine generated noise, including infrasound. A secondary objective is to give the public unbiased information about wind turbine noise.

Approach: Review all relevant literature. Measure and characterize the noise generated by a single wind turbine and wind farm, including infrasound. University of Minnesota’s Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences will conduct tests on human subjects using simulated noise matching the noise generated by wind turbines and farms. 

Outcomes: Allow the wind industry and its regulators to better respond to the public’s concerns about health concerns from wind turbines. Also, to remove or minimize the market barrier associated with wind turbine noise.

VWiS+: A high-fidelity CFD code with advanced turbine control model and aeroelastic model

Objectives: Develop a state-of-the-art high fidelity CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) code, Virtual WInd Simulator (VWiS) with advanced turbine control and aeroelastic model, for simulating wind turbines and wind farms in complex terrains. 

Approach: The following steps will be carried out: 1) development of VWiS+ with advance turbine control and aeroelastic model; 2) development of VWiS+ with adaptive mesh refinement;  3) validation of the VWiS+ using the measurements from the EOLOS turbine; 4) investigation of the wake dynamics of the EOLOS turbine under different operation conditions.


  1. A new version of VWiS, i.e., VWiS+, will be developed, which can be employed to investigate the wind turbine and wind farm dynamics under complex real-life conditions, optimize the existing wind farm performance, and help installation of new wind farms.
  2. Better understanding of the wake dynamics of a field-scale wind turbine can be obtained, which can be further employed to develop physics-based, improved low-order engineering models.