Qualitative yaw stability analysis of free-yawing downwind turbines
This article qualitatively shows the yaw stability of a free-yawing downwind turbine and the ability of the turbine to align passively with the wind direction using a model with 2 degrees of freedom. An existing model of a Suzlon S111 upwind 2.1 MW turbine is converted into a downwind configuration with a 5∘ tilt and a 3.5∘ downwind cone angle. The analysis shows that the static tilt angle causes a wind-speed-dependent yaw misalignment of up to −19∘ due to the projection of the torque onto the yaw bearing and the skewed aerodynamic forces caused by wind speed projection. With increased cone angles, the yaw stiffness can be increased for better yaw alignment and the stabilization of the free-yaw motion. The shaft length influences the yaw alignment only for high wind speeds and cannot significantly contribute to the damping of the free-yaw mode within the investigated range. Asymmetric flapwise blade flexibility is seen to significantly decrease the damping of the free-yaw mode, leading to instability at wind speeds higher than 19 m s−1. It is shown that this additional degree of freedom is needed to predict the qualitative yaw behaviour of a free-yawing downwind wind turbine.