A small horizontal axis wind turbine rotor was designed and tested with aerodynamically efficient, economical and easy to manufacture blades. Basic blade aerodynamic analysis was conducted using commercially available software. The blade span was constrained such that the complete wind turbine can be rooftop mountable with the envisioned wind turbine height of around 8 m. The blade was designed without any taper or twist to comply with the low cost and ease of manufacturing requirements. The aerodynamic analysis suggested laminar flow airfoils to be the most efficient airfoils for such use. Using NACA 63-418 airfoil, a rectangular blade geometry was selected with chord length of 0.27[m] and span of 1.52[m]. Glass reinforced plastic was used as the blade material for low cost and favorable strength to weight ratio with a skin thickness of 1[mm]. Because of the resultant velocity changes with respect to the blade span, while the blade is rotating, an optimal installed angle of attack was to be determined. The installed angle of attack was required to produce the highest possible rotation under usual wind speeds while start at relatively low speed. Tests were conducted at multiple wind speeds with blades mounted on free rotating shaft. The turbine was tested for three different installed angles and rotational speeds were recorded. The result showed increase in rotational speed with the increase in blade angle away from the free-stream velocity direction while the start-up speeds were found to be within close range of each other. At the optimal angle was found to be 22° from the plane of rotation. The results seem very promising for a low cost small wind turbine with no twist and taper in the blade. The tests established that non-twisted wind turbine blades, when used for rooftop small wind turbines, can generate useable electrical power for domestic consumption. It also established that, for small wind turbines, non-twisted, non-tapered blades provide an economical yet productive alternative to the existing complex wind turbine blades.

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