A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) prototype is being developed at West Virginia University that utilizes circulation control to enhance its performance. An airfoil was chosen for this turbine based on its performance potential, and ability to incorporate circulation control. The selection process for the airfoil involved the consideration of camber, blade thickness, and trailing edge radius and the corresponding impact on the lift and drag coefficients. The airfoil showing the highest lift/drag ratio augmentation, compared to the corresponding unmodified airfoil was determined to be the most likely shape for use on the circulation control augmented vertical axis wind turbine. The airfoils selected for this initial investigation were the NACA0018, NACA2418, 18% thick elliptical, NACA0021, and the SNLA2150. The airfoils were compared using the computational fluid dynamics program FLUENT v.6.3.26 with a blowing coefficient of 1% [1]. The size of the trailing edge radius and the slot heights were varied based on past experimental data [2]. The three trailing edge radii and two blowing slot heights were investigated. The thickness of the airfoil impacts the circulation control performance [3], thus it was studied by scaling the NACA0018 to a 21% thickness and compared to an SNLA2150 airfoil. The airfoils’ lift and drag coefficients were compared to determine the most improved lift-drag ratio (L/D). When comparing the increases of the L/D due to circulation control, the NACA0018 and 2418 airfoils were found to outperform the elliptical airfoil; the NACA0018 performed slightly better than the 2418 when comparing the same ratio L/D. The results showed that the 21% thick airfoils produced a decreased L/D profile compared to the NACA0018 airfoils. Therefore, the NACA0018 was found to be the optimal airfoil based from this initial investigation due to an increased L/D compared to the other airfoils tested.

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