Research Papers

Aerodynamic Performance of a Small Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
Maryam Refan, Horia Hangan

The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Research Institute,  The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B9, Canadamrefan@uwo.ca

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(2), 021013 (Mar 19, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005751 History: Received January 12, 2011; Revised November 08, 2011; Published March 15, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

The aerodynamic performance of an upwind, three-bladed, small horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) rotor of 2.2 m in diameter was investigated experimentally and theoretically in order to assess the applicability of the blade element momentum (BEM) theory for modeling the rotor performance for the case of small HAWTs. The wind turbine has been tested in the low and high speed sections of the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel 2 (BLWT2) at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in order to determine the power curve over a wide range of wind speeds. Afterward, the BEM theory has been implemented to evaluate the rotor performance and to investigate three-dimensionality effects on power prediction by the theory. Comparison between the theoretical and experimental results shows that the overall prediction of the theory is within an acceptable range of accuracy. However, the BEM theory prediction for the case of small wind turbines is not as accurate as the prediction for larger wind turbines.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Drawing of the BLWT2

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Figure 2

(a) Schematic drawing of the rotor test configuration in low speed test section (modified image from Natural Resources Canada) and (b) Installation setup in the wind tunnel

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Figure 6

Experimental aerodynamic performance of the rotor for a wide range of tunnel wind speeds

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Figure 7

Power output prediction by BEM theory as a function of rotor speed for various wind speeds

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Figure 8

Experimental and theoretical power output of the rotor for various tunnel wind speeds

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Figure 9

Comparison between experimental results and BEM theory prediction at low tunnel wind speeds

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Figure 10

Power output prediction for high tunnel wind speeds considering blockage and stall delay corrections

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Figure 11

Comparison of experimental and theoretical power coefficients

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Figure 12

Theoretical and experimental power curve of the rotor for a wide range of wind speeds

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Figure 13

Percent of difference between predicted power by BEM theory and the measured power

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Figure 3

Blade element geometry, velocities, and forces

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Figure 4

Power output versus rotor rotational speed for various wind tunnel speeds (low speed tests)

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Figure 5

Power output versus rotor rotational speed for various wind tunnel speeds (high speed tests)



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