A Comparative Study of the Aerodynamics of Several Wind Turbines Using Flow Visualization

[+] Author and Article Information
D. M. Eggleston

Control Engineering, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX 79762-8301

K. Starcher

Alternative Energy Institute, West Texas State University, Canyon, TX 79016

J. Sol. Energy Eng 112(4), 301-309 (Nov 01, 1990) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929938 History: Received November 04, 1988; Revised May 25, 1990; Online June 06, 2008


Flow visualization techniques were used to study the flows over the Enertech 21-5, Carter 25, and Enertech 44-50. Despite centrifugal effects superimposed on the aerodynamics, tufting (gross aerodynamic behavior) and oil flow (average boundary layer behavior), tests reveal the nature and many of the details of the flows involved. Results were compared to expected flow patterns based on angles of attack calculated from the PROPPC code. Chord Reynolds numbers ranged between 75,000 (Enertech 21-5) to 1,340,000 (Enertech 44-50). The typical low Reynolds number flow characteristics of these airfoils, including laminar separation bubbles, turbulent reattachment, and complete separation were observed. Full or partial reattachment due to tower shadow was observed on each machine. Spanwise flow was observed near the leading edge of the Enertech 21-5. Cyclic radial flow from tower dam effect was also noted.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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