The flow characteristics and the lift and drag behavior of a newly designed thick trailing-edged airfoil that was provided with fixed trailing edge flaps (Gurney flaps) of 1% to 5% height right at the back of the airfoil were studied at different low Reynolds numbers (Re) and angles of attack for possible applications in wind turbines suitable for the wind speeds of 4–6 m/s that are common in the Pacific Island Countries. A thick trailing-edged blade section, AF300, that was designed and tested in a recent work for small horizontal axis wind turbines to improve the turbine’s startup and performance at low wind speeds was chosen for this study. Experiments were performed on the AF300 airfoil in a wind tunnel at different Re, flap heights and angles of attack. Pressure distributions were obtained across the surface of the airfoil and the lift and drag forces were measured for different cases. It was found that the flap considerably improves the suction on the upper surface of the airfoil resulting in a high lift coefficient. For some of the angles, in the case of 3 mm and 4 mm flaps, the peak Cp values on the suction surface were significantly higher compared to those without the flap. However, at angles of attack of 12° and above, this unusually high Cp on the upper surface close to the leading edge caused flow separation for some cases as the flow could not withstand the strong adverse pressure gradient. The CFX results matched most of the experimental results without flaps, except that the suction peak was lower numerically. The difference was higher for the case with flaps. It is clear from the results that trailing-edge flaps can be used to improve the performance of small wind turbines designed for low wind speeds.

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