The role of free stream turbulence with large integral scale on the aerodynamic performance of an experimental low Reynolds number S809 wind turbine blade

Victor Maldonado, Luciano Castillo, Adrien Thormann, Charles Meneveau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Effects of free stream turbulence with large integral scale on the aerodynamic performance of an S809 airfoil-based wind turbine blade at low Reynolds number are studied using wind tunnel experiments. The case of wind turbine blades subjected to turbulence structures with large integral scale is of interest since in the atmospheric boundary layer very large-scale structures interact with the blades. A constant chord (2-D) S809 airfoil wind turbine blade model with an operating Reynolds number of 2.08×105 based on chord length was tested for a range of angles of attack representative of fully attached and stalled flow as encountered in typical wind turbine operation. The smooth-surface blade was subjected to a quasi-laminar free stream with very low free-stream turbulence as well as to elevated free-stream turbulence generated by an active grid. This turbulence contained large-scale eddies with levels of free-stream turbulence intensity of up to 6.14% and an integral length scale of about 60% of chord-length. The pressure distribution was acquired using static pressure taps and the lift was subsequently computed by numerical integration. The wake velocity deficit was measured utilizing hot-wire anemometry to compute the drag coefficient also via integration. In addition, the mean flow was quantified using 2-D particle image velocimetry (PIV) over the suction surface of the blade. Results indicate that turbulence, even with very large-scale eddies comparable in size to the chord-length, significantly improves the aerodynamic performance of the blade by increasing the lift coefficient and overall lift-to-drag ratio, L/D for all angles tested except 0°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Volume142
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Aerodynamics
  • Experimental
  • Free stream turbulence
  • Wind turbine blade

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