Surface pressure data were acquired using the NREL Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment, a full-scale horizontal axis wind turbine, which was erected in the NASA Ames 80 ft × 120 ft wind tunnel. Data were collected first for a stationary blade, and then for a rotating blade with the turbine disk at zero yaw. Analyses compared aerodynamic forces and surface pressure distributions under rotating conditions against analogous baseline data acquired from the stationary blade. This comparison allowed rotational modifications to blade aerodynamics to be characterized in detail. Rotating conditions were seen to dramatically amplify aerodynamic forces, and radically alter surface pressure distributions. These and subsequent findings will more fully reveal the structures and interactions responsible for these flow field enhancements, and help establish the basis for formalizing comprehension in physics based models.

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