It is well established that the power generated by a Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) is a function of the number of blades B, the tip speed ratio λr (blade tip speed/wind free-stream velocity) and the lift to drag ratio (CL/CD) of the airfoil sections of the blade. The previous studies have shown that Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory is capable of evaluating the steady-state performance of wind turbines, in particular it can provide a reasonably good estimate of generated power at a given wind speed. However in more realistic applications, wind turbine operating conditions change from time to time due to variations in wind velocity and the aerodynamic forces change to new steady-state values after the wake settles to a new equilibrium whenever changes in operating conditions occur. The goal of this paper is to modify the quasi-steady BEM theory by including a simple dynamic inflow model to capture the unsteady behavior of wind turbines on a larger time scale. The output power of the wind turbines is calculated using the improved BEM method incorporating the inflow model. The computations are performed for the original NREL Phase II and Phase III turbines and the Risoe turbine all employing the S809 airfoil section for the turbine blades. It is shown by a simple example that the improved BEM theory is capable of evaluating the wind turbine performance in practical situations where operating conditions often vary in time.

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