Results from a quantitative tuft flow visualization of a utility scale wind turbine undergoing a yaw movement are presented. Based on the turbine’s SCADA data suitable pre- and post-yaw timeframes were defined and the surface flowfields were analysed. A distinct asymmetry between the surface flow patterns of the 90° and 270° azimutal blade positions was observed in the pre-yaw timeframe. After the turbine yawed back into the wind the symmetry was restored. Yaw-misalignment is a source of dynamic loads which limit a turbine’s life time. The characterization of the involved flow structures and their dynamics is an essential step towards possible future load alleviation techniques. The quantitative tuft flow visualization technique is a measurement tool that can be used to assess the surface flow field.

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