Our group studies the advanced flow diagnostic techniques and their applications in renewable energy systems. 

Areas of interest:

1) Development and optimization of the renewable energy generation systems

  • Wind/solar resource assessment

  • Wind turbine aerodynamics and wake interference

  • Wind turbine icing physics and anti-/de-icing strategies

  • Wind turbine power forecast under extreme weathers

  • Wind turbine health monitoring and control optimization

  • Hybrid renewable energy system

2) Advanced Flow Diagnostics and Instrumentations

  • Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and stereoscopic PIV techniques.

  • Digital image projection (DIP) technique and 3D shape reconstruction

  • Infrared thermometry technique

  • Shadowgraph and Schlieren techniques

  • LiDAR measurement

RESEARCH GALLERY

High-speed imaging technique measures dynamic ice accretion and transient water transport behaviors
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Rime ice accretion over a wind turbine blade surface

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Glaze ice accretion over a wind turbine blade surface

Digital image projection technique quantifies the 3-dimensional shapes of the ice structures and water flows
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Transient 3-dimensional shapes of the rivulet flows

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Copyright (c) Gao & Hu 2018

Quantified ice structures accreted over both surfaces of an airfoil

Particle image velocimetry technique characterizes the aerodynamic properties of an ice accreting airfoil
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Copyright (c) Gao & Hu 2018

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Copyright (c) Gao & Hu 2018

Instantaneous PIV measurements reveal the dynamic changes of the airflow over an ice accretion airfoil

Lift (left) & drag (right) coefficients v.s. ice accretion time

A hybrid strategy combining minimum leading-edge electric-heating and superhydro-/ice-phobic surface coating for wind turbine icing mitigation (save ~90% power consumption)
 
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Glaze ice accretion over a wind turbine airfoil 

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Single leading-edge heating strategy, 30% of the chord length

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Single superhydro-/ice-phobic coating strategy

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Heating-Coating hybrid Strategy

Field campaign to study the wind turbine water interference in a large-scale (300 MW) wind farm using scanning LiDARs
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LiDARs (left) and velocity contours of wind turbine wake regions (right). Stars show the locations of wind turbines.

Field campaign to measure the blade ice structures for utility-scale wind turbines using a drone-imaging system
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Photo of ice accretion on a wind turbine blade by using DJI Mavic Air