Technical Brief

Design and Testing of a New Small Wind Turbine Blade

[+] Author and Article Information
Qiyue Song

School of Engineering,
University of Guelph,
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
e-mail: qsong@uoguelph.ca

William David Lubitz

Associate Professor
School of Engineering,
University of Guelph,
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
e-mail: wlubitz@uoguelph.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 22, 2012; final manuscript received January 3, 2014; published online January 31, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(3), 034502 (Jan 31, 2014) (4 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1206; doi: 10.1115/1.4026464 History: Received August 22, 2012; Revised January 03, 2014

A small wind turbine blade was designed using blade element momentum (BEM) method for a three bladed, fixed pitch 1 kW horizontal axis wind turbine. The new blades were fabricated, fit to a Bergey XL 1.0 turbine, and tested using a vehicle-based platform at the original designed pitch angle, plus with 5 deg and 9 deg of additional pitch. The new blades had better aerodynamic performance than the original Bergey XL 1.0 blades at high speed, but in some cases at lower speeds the original blades performed better. The results demonstrated that selecting the blade pitch angle on a rotor is a tradeoff between starting performance and power output in high winds. The BEM simulations were evaluated against the test data and demonstrated that the BEM simulations predicted the rotor performance with reasonable accuracy.

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Fig. 1

Blade airfoil profile, velocities and forces

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Fig. 2

Extended airfoil characteristics of SD 7062 and Bergey airfoil

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Fig. 3

Geometry of new blade at each element

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Fig. 4

BEM predictions of power coefficient for the new blades at different overall pitch angles, compared to the original Bergey blades

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Fig. 5

Measured power curves of the three rotors

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Fig. 6

Power curve simulation of the Bergey (a), the new blades at +5 deg pitch angle (b), and at +9 deg pitch angle (c)




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