What is the Difference Between Yaw Misalignment and Incorrect Nacelle Position?

For any wind project, your turbines must face into the wind as often as possible to maintain optimum energy output. However, there are quite a few factors that go into the proper positioning of your turbine that make this process much more complicated than it sounds.

As such, it's crucial to understand these factors so that your wind project can produce the highest possible AEP. One question we find that some wind plant owners have is whether incorrect nacelle position has an impact on yaw misalignment.


Yaw Misalignment

In our past few videos, we've addressed the all-too-common issue of yaw misalignment that may be affecting your wind farm: what is yaw misalignment and what causes yaw misalignment. Yaw misalignment is a relative direction error between the turbine and the wind direction. There are two types: dynamic yaw misalignment and static yaw misalignment. Both of these types of misalignment play a critical role in defining a turbine's optimal performance, and ultimately, its revenue.


Nacelle Position

Often, an incorrect nacelle position is confused with yaw misalignment. The nacelle is the casing on top of the tower that contains components necessary to move the turbine into the wind. Incorrect nacelle position has little impact on most turbines' performance because it merely reports the direction in which the turbine is pointing. For example, the true wind direction at a site could be 180º (or South), but the nacelle position may be reported as 0º (or North). While some turbine models report nacelle position accurately, some are notoriously bad in reporting accurate values. In some cases, the wind farm owner may spend a lot of time keeping the nacelle position calibrated. While an accurate nacelle position is needed for sector-based management or analytic techniques, it does not directly affect turbine output.


Optimize Your Turbine Output

You want your wind farm operating efficiently and producing optimum output to boost your revenue. While there are many factors that can affect AEP, yaw misalignment is a common problem that can (and should) be addressed. In a recent engagement, WindESCo worked with UPC Renewables to address yaw misalignment in their wind plant and boost their AEP by 2%. Download the case study to see how UPC Renewables made an impact in their wind project.


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