Blade rotation routinely and significantly augments aerodynamic forces during zero yaw HAWT operation. To better understand the flow physics underlying this phenomenon, time dependent blade surface pressure data were acquired from the NREL Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment, a full-scale HAWT tested in the NASA Ames 80 ft × 120 Ft wind tunnel. Time records of surface pressures and normal force were processed to obtain means and standard deviations. Surface pressure means and standard deviations were analyzed to identify boundary layer separation and reattachment locations. Separation and reattachment kinematics were then correlated with normal force behavior. Results showed that rotational augmentation was linked to specific separation and reattachment behaviors, and to associated three-dimensionality in surface pressure distributions.

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