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At the research group Wind Energy Systems, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Institute of Physics of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, there is a vacant PhD position starting as soon as on 16th of September 2018

Research Assistant
(Salary according to TV-L E13, 100%)

The research focus will be on

Experimental and numerical investigation of wake control in wind farms

Wind turbines in a wind farm are typically subjected to mutual aerodynamic interactions due to their wakes. Depending on the farm layout and inflow direction, this can lead to unfavourable structural loading and a substantial reduction in the power yield. So-called wake control aims at reducing such negative effects. One specific approach that has proven its potential is wake deflection through turbine operation under deliberate yaw misalignment. Further proposals to mitigate wake effects include for instance dynamic variation of the rotor induction at the upwind turbines or a combination of yaw and induction control. However, a successful implementation of such control mechanisms in the field is a complex task. Firstly, it requires a broad understanding of the flow development for various ambient conditions and the interaction between turbines and the flow. Secondly, sensing of the instationary atmospheric conditions, the wind turbine dynamics and preferably the wake deployment is needed as input of the control algorithm. Finally, implementation is meaningful only after a thorough numerical and experimental validation, e.g. by means of high-fidelity large eddy simulations, experiments under controlled conditions in a wind tunnel and eventually in the open field.

The WindLab of the University of Oldenburg provides powerful research infrastructures for such investigations including high performance computing, a large turbulent wind tunnel and different sets of lidar windscanners which will be employed in a joint research project on demonstrating wake control on utility-scale wind turbines.

Job Description
The main goal of the PhD project is the further development and validation of wake control by means of flow measurements with both long-range and short-range lidar windscanners in a wind farm and large eddy simulations under various wind farm and atmospheric conditions.

Among others, the job will comprise:

  • Research on wake control in wind farms with emphasis on the consideration of instationary ambient conditions and optimisation of the structural loading and energy yield of the turbines
  • Scientific preparation, commissioning and execution of open field measurement campaigns, especially with lidar devices, in teamwork with other colleagues
  • Scientific analysis and interpretation of meteorological, flow and structural load measurements and SCADA data in a research wind farm
  • Comparison of met data with analytical and numerical models leading to more reliable and versatile modelling
  • At a later stage of the research the scope might be extended on active power control under waked turbine operation where the wind farm has to track the power demand given by the transmission system operator
  • Organisational tasks in the coordination of research projects
  • Support of the teaching and other general activities of the research group.

The research and experiments will be conducted in close cooperation with the »Energy Meteorology« and »Turbulence, Wind Energy and Stochastic« groups at the University of Oldenburg and other national and international academic and industrial partners.

Furthermore, the candidate will be given opportunities to actively improve personal, scientific and teaching skills.

Candidate Profile
Prerequisites are

  • a qualifying university degree (diploma or master) in engineering or natural science preferred in mechanical engineering, aerospace technology or wind energy
  • profound knowledge of fluid dynamics
  • aptitude and willingness for pursuing a PhD with emphasis on experimental research
  • good communication skill and capacity for teamwork
  • fluently spoken and written English.

In order to perform open field experiments a driving licence class B, physical fitness, head for heights and the willingness to travel for several days to onshore and offshore sites are required. Specific health certificates and safety trainings needed for work on the nacelle of wind turbines have to be gained during the employment.

Experience with experimental techniques, computational fluid dynamics, control engineering and Matlab/Simulink or equivalent software is considered a plus. Furthermore, basic knowledge in wind turbine dynamics as well as good German language skills are desired.

The initial employment is limited to three years with an intention for further prolongation up to a total of four years to facilitate a PhD.

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increase the percentage of female employees in the field of science. Therefore, female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance to § 21 Section 3 NHG, female candidates with equal qualifications will be preferentially considered. Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal qualification. Full-time positions can be also turned into part-time ones.

Please send your preferably electronic application referenced #UN48 and all the usual documents

  • motivation letter
  • curriculum vitae
  • graduation results
  • job references
  • proof of knowledge in the fields of fluid dynamics

in one single pdf file as well as further pdf files

  • of the final thesis (if available) and
  • relevant research papers (if available)

to the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Institute of Physics, Research Group Wind Energy Systems, Prof. Dr. M. Kühn, Küpkersweg 70, 26129 Oldenburg, Phone +49 441 798 5061, Email, until July 22nd, 2018. Applications may be formulated in German or English language.


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