Much of the aerodynamic design of wind turbines is accomplished using computational tools such as XFOIL. These codes are not robust enough for predicting performance under the low Reynolds numbers found with small-scale wind turbines. Wind tunnels can experimentally test wind turbine airfoils to determine lift and drag data over typical operating Reynolds numbers. They can also test complete small wind turbine systems to determine overall performance. For small-scale wind turbines, quality experimental airfoil data at the appropriate Reynolds numbers are necessary for accurate design and prediction of power production.

References

References
1.
American Wind Energy Association
,
2014
, “
Small Wind
,” Accessed Apr. 20, 2015, http://www.awea.org/Issues/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=4592&navItemNumber=723
2.
U.S. Department of Energy
,
2012
, “
Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications
,” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, Report No. DE-AC05-76RL01830.
3.
RenewableUK
,
2013
,
Small and Medium Wind UK Market
Report 2013.
4.
World Wind Energy Association
,
2014
, “
Small Wind World Report 2014 Update
.”
5.
Spera
,
D. A.
, ed.,
2009
,
Wind Turbine Technology: Fundamentals Concepts in Wind Turbine Engineering
,
2nd ed.
,
ASME Press
,
New York
.
6.
Drela
,
M.
, “
XFOIL Design Code
,” Accessed Apr. 20,
2015
, http://web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/xfoil/
7.
Eppler
,
R.
, “
PROFIL Eppler Airfoil Design and Analysis Code
,” Accessed Apr. 20,
2015
, http://www.airfoils.com/eppler.htm
8.
Barlow
,
J. B.
,
Rae
,
W. H.
, Jr.
, and
Pope
,
A.
,
1999
,
Low-Speed Wind Tunnel Testing
,
3rd ed.
,
Wiley
,
New York
, pp.
349
362
, 673–674.
9.
Blanch
,
M. J.
,
1997
, “
Reynolds Number Effects on the Stall of a Small Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine
,”
Proceedings of the 18th British Wind Energy Association Conference, Wind Energy Conversion 1996, Mechanical Engineering Publications Limited
,
London, UK
, pp.
315
321
.
10.
Simms
,
D.
,
Schreck
,
S.
,
Hand
,
M.
, and
Fingersh
,
L. J.
,
2001
, “
NREL Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment in the NASA-Ames Wind Tunnel: A Comparison of Predictions to Measurements
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/TP-500-29494.
11.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
, “
Leading Clean Energy Innovation
” Accessed Apr. 20,
2015
, http://www.nrel.gov/wind/
12.
Hau
,
E.
,
2006
,
Wind Turbines: Fundamentals, Technologies, Applications, Economics
,
2nd ed.
,
Springer
,
Berlin, Germany
.10.1007/3-540-29284-5
13.
Monteiro
,
J. P.
,
Silvestre
,
M. R.
,
Piggott
,
H.
, and
Andre
,
J. C.
,
2013
, “
Wind Tunnel Testing of a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Rotor and Comparison With Simulations From Two Blade Element Momentum Codes
,”
J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn.
,
123
, pp.
99
106
.10.1016/j.jweia.2013.09.008
14.
Lewis
,
R. I.
,
1990
, “
Theoretical Simulation of Open Jet Wind Tunnels for Testing Wind Generator Blade Profiles
,”
Wind Eng.
,
14
(
2
), pp.
98
121
.
15.
Sedaghat
,
A.
,
Liu
,
X.
,
Whitty
,
J.
, and
Tang
,
X.
,
2012
, “
Wind Power of Small Wind Turbines in Turbulent Open Jets
,”
Sci. Iran.
,
19
(
2
), pp.
272
281
.10.1016/j.scient.2011.12.011
16.
Snel
,
H.
,
Schepers
,
J.
, and
Montgomerie
,
B.
,
2007
, “
The MEXICO Project (Model Experiments in Controlled Conditions): The Database and First Results of Data Processing and Interpretation
,”
J. Phys.: Conf. Ser.
,
75
(
1
), p.
012014
.10.1088/1742-6596/75/1/012014
17.
Sicot
,
C.
,
Devianant
,
P.
,
Loyer
,
S.
, and
Hureau
,
J.
,
2008
, “
Rotational and Turbulence Effects on a Wind Turbine Blade: Investigation of the Stall Mechanisms
,”
J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn.
,
96
(
8–9
), pp.
1320
1331
.10.1016/j.jweia.2008.01.013
18.
Burdett
,
T. A.
, and
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
,
2012
, “
Scaling Small-Scale Wind Turbines for Wind Tunnel Testing
,”
ASME
Paper No. GT2012-68359. 10.1115/GT2012-68359
19.
Burdett
,
T. A.
, and
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
,
2012
, “
A Theoretical and Experimental Comparison of Optimized BET and BEMT Blade Designs
,”
ASME
Paper No. GT2012-68350. 10.1115/GT2012-68350
20.
Chen
,
T. Y.
, and
Liou
,
L. R.
,
2011
, “
Blockage Corrections in Wind Tunnel Tests of Small Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines
,”
Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci.
,
35
(
3
), pp.
365
569
.10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2010.12.005
21.
Gregg
,
J. R.
,
Merchant
,
J. S.
,
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
, and
Gravagne
,
I. A.
,
2009
, “
Experimental Analysis of a Counter-Rotating Wind Turbine
,”
ASME
Paper No. IMECE2009–11355.10.1115/IMECE2009-11355
22.
Rector
,
M. C.
, and
Visser
,
K. D.
,
2007
, “
Aerodynamic Design of a Small Contra-Rotating HAWT
,”
AIAA
Paper No. 2007-1371. 10.2514/6.2007-1371
23.
Ushiyama
,
I.
,
Shimota
,
T.
, and
Miura
,
Y.
,
1996
, “
An Experimental Study of the Two-Staged Wind Turbines
,”
World Renewable Energy Conference 1996
,
Denver, CO
, pp.
909
912
.10.1016/0960-1481(96)88427-8
24.
Howell
,
R.
,
Qin
,
N.
,
Edwards
,
J.
, and
Durrani
,
N.
,
2010
, “
Wind Tunnel and Numerical Study of a Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
,”
Renewable Energy
,
35
(
2
), pp.
421
422
.10.1016/j.renene.2009.07.025
25.
Pawsey
,
N. C. K.
, and
Barratt
,
A. J.
,
1999
, “
Evaluation of a Variable-Pitch Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
,”
Wind Eng.
,
23
(
1
), pp.
23
30
.
26.
Georgescu
,
A.
,
Georgescu
,
S.
, and
Degeratu
,
M.
,
2008
, “
Experimental Setup Designed for Testing a Cross-Flow Water Turbine in a Wind Tunnel
,”
Proceedings of the 5th National Conference of Romanian Hydropower Engineers
, Dorin Pavel, Bucharest, Romania, May 22–23 [
UPB Sci. Bull., Ser. D
,
70
(
4
), pp.
191
200
].
27.
Deam
,
R. T.
,
2008
, “
On Scaling Down Turbines to Millimeter Size
,”
ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power
,
130
(3), p.
52301
.10.1115/1.2938516
28.
Jacobs
,
N.
,
Ward
,
K. E.
, and
Pinkerton
,
R. M.
,
1993
, “
The Characteristics of 78 Related Airfoil Sections From Tests in the Variable-Density Wind Tunnel
,” Report No. NACA-TR-460.
29.
Abbott
,
I. H.
,
Von Doenhoff
,
A. E.
, and
Stivers
,
L.
,
1945
, “
Summary of Airfoil Data
,” National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Washington, DC, Report No. NACA-TR-824.
30.
McGhee
,
R. J.
, and
Beasley
,
W. D.
,
1981
, “
Wind-Tunnel Results for a Modified 17-Percent-Thick Low-Speed Airfoil Section
,” Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, Report No. NASA-TP-1919.
31.
NREL Wind Research
, “
Leading Clean Energy Innovation
” Accessed Apr. 20,
2015
, http://www.nrel.gov/wind/
32.
Tangler
,
J. L.
, and
Sommers
,
D. M.
,
1995
, “
NREL Airfoil Families for HAWTs
,”
American Wind Energy Association Wind Power' 95 Conference
,
Washington, DC
, Mar 26–30, pp.
117
128
.
33.
Giguere
,
P.
, and
Selig
,
M. S.
,
1997
, “
Low Reynolds Number Airfoils for Small Horizontal Wind Turbines
,”
Wind Eng.
,
21
(
6
), pp.
367
380
.
34.
Fuglsang
,
P.
,
Bak
,
C.
,
Gaunaa
,
M.
, and
Antoniou
,
I.
,
2004
, “
Design and Verification of the Ris0-B1 Airfoil Family for Wind Turbines
,”
ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng.
,
126
(
4
), pp.
1002
1010
.10.1115/1.1766024
35.
Sommers
,
D. M.
,
2004
, “
The S816, S817, and S818 Airfoils
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/SR-500-36333.
36.
Sommers
,
D. M.
,
2005
, “
The S827, and S828 Airfoils
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/SR-500-36343.
37.
Sommers
,
D. M.
,
2005
, “
The S833, S834, and S835 Airfoils
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/SR-500-36340.
38.
Sommers
,
D. M.
,
2005
, “
The S822 and S823 Airfoils
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Report No. NREL/SR-500-36333.
39.
Bak
,
C.
, and
Fuglsang
,
P.
,
2002
,”
Modification of the NACA 632-415 Leading Edge for Better Aerodynamic Performance
,”
J. Sol. Eng.
,
124
(4), pp.
327
334
.10.1115/1.1506324
40.
McGhee
,
R.
,
Walker
,
B.
, and
Millard
,
B.
,
1988
, “
Experimental Results for the Eppler 387 Airfoil at Low Reynolds Number in the Langley Low-Turbulence Pressure Tunnel
,” NASA Technical Memorandum 4062, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.
41.
Hu
,
H.
, and
Yang
,
Z.
,
2008
, “
An Experimental Study of the Laminar Flow Separation on a Low-Reynolds-Number Airfoil
,”
ASME J. Fluids Eng.
,
130
(
5
), p.
051101
.10.1115/1.2907416
42.
Hirahara
,
H.
,
Hossain
,
M.
,
Kawahashi
,
M.
, and
Nonomura
,
Y.
,
2005
, “
Testing Basic Performance of a Very Small Wind Turbine Designed for Multi-Purposes
,”
Renewable Energy
,
30
(
8
), pp.
1279
1297
.10.1016/j.renene.2004.10.009
43.
Gross
,
A.
,
Fasel
,
H. F.
,
Freiderich
,
T.
, and
Kloker
,
M. J.
,
2010
, “
Numerical Investigation of S822 Wind Turbine Airfoil
,”
AIAA
Paper No. 2010-4478.10.2514/6.2010-4478
44.
Selig
,
M.
,
2003
,
Low Reynolds Number Airfoil Design Lecture Notes
(Applied Vehicle Technology Panel), VKI Lecture Series,
NATO Research and Technology Organization
, Emerging UAV Technology, November 24–28.http://m-selig.ae.illinois.edu/pubs/Selig-2003-VKI-LRN-Airfoil-Design-Lecture-Series.pdf
45.
Watanabe
,
Y.
,
Iwashita
,
H.
, and
Ito
,
M.
,
2007
, “
Shape Optimum Design of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine in Low Reynolds Number Range
,”
European Wind Energy Conference
,
Milan, Italy
.
46.
Greco
,
L.
,
Testa
,
C.
, and
Salvatore
,
F.
,
2007
, “
Design Oriented Aerodynamic Modelling of Wind Turbine Performance
,”
J. Phys.: Conf. Ser.
,
75
, pp.
1
12
.10.1088/1742-6596/75/1/012011
47.
Selig
,
M. S.
, and
McGranahan
,
B. D.
,
2004
, “
Wind Tunnel Aerodynamic Tests of Six Airfoils for Use on Small Wind Turbines
,”
ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng.
,
126
(4), pp.
986
1001
.10.1115/1.1793208
48.
Selig
,
M. S.
,
Deters
,
R. W.
, and
Williamson
,
G. A.
, “
Wind Tunnel Testing Airfoils at Low Reynolds Numbers
,”
AIAA
Paper No. 2011-875. 10.2514/6.2011-875
49.
Selig
,
M. S.
,
Guglielmo
,
J. J.
,
Broeren
,
A. P.
, and
Giguère
,
P.
,
1995
,
Summary of Low-Speed Airfoil Data
, Vol.
1
,
SoarTech Publications
,
Virginia Beach, VA
.
50.
Selig
,
M. S.
,
Lyon
,
C. A.
,
Giguère
,
P.
,
Ninham
,
C. N.
, and
Guglielmo
,
J. J.
,
1996
,
Summary of Low-Speed Airfoil Data
, Vol.
2
,
SoarTech Publications
,
Virginia Beach, VA
.
51.
Lyon
,
C. A.
,
Broeren
,
A. P.
,
Giguère
,
P.
,
Gopalarathnam
,
A.
, and
Selig
,
M. S.
,
1998
,
Summary of Low-Speed Airfoil Data
, Vol.
3
,
SoarTech Publications
,
Virginia Beach, VA
.
52.
Burdett
,
T.
,
2011
, “
Applying Wind Tunnel Corrections to S823 Airfoil Data
,” Paper Written for Experimental Methods for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Class, Baylor University, pp.
1
10
.
53.
Burdett
,
T. A.
,
2012
, “
Aerodynamic Design Considerations for Small-Scale, Fixed-Pitch, Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines Operating in Class 2 Winds
” M.S. thesis, Baylor University, Waco, TX.
54.
Gregg
,
J. R.
,
Burdett
,
T. A.
,
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
, and
McClain
,
S. T.
,
2011
, “
Design Considerations, Performance Enhancing Techniques, and Wind Tunnel Testing for Small-Scale, Low Reynolds Number Wind Turbines
,”
ASME
Paper No. IMECE2011-65351. 10.1115/IMECE2011-65351
55.
Gregg
,
J. R.
, and
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
,
2010
, “
Experimental Testing of Periodic Roughness Elements on a Small-Scale Wind Turbine Blade
,”
ASME
Paper No. IMECE2010-38863. 10.1115/IMECE2010-38863
56.
Srikanth
,
N.
, and
Funk
,
J. L.
,
2011
, “
Geometric Scaling and Long-Run Reductions in Cost: The Case of Wind Turbines
,”
IEEE International Technology Management Conference
(
ITMC
),
San Jose, CA
, June 27–30, pp.
691
696
.10.1109/ITMC.2011.5996044
57.
Moe
,
G.
,
2007
, “
What is the Optimum Size for a Wind Turbine?
,”
ASME
Paper No. OMAE2007-29035.10.1115/OMAE2007-29035
58.
Manwell
,
J. F.
,
McGowan
,
J. G.
, and
Rogers
,
A. L.
,
2009
,
Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application
,
2nd ed.
,
Wiley
,
West Sussex, UK
.10.1002/9781119994367
59.
Petersen
,
H.
,
1984
, “
The Scaling Laws Applied to Wind Turbine Design
,”
Wind Eng.
,
8
(
2
), pp.
99
108
.
60.
Wainauski
,
H. S.
,
1979
, “
Wind Tunnel Tests of a 1/30 Scale Model of a 3.5 Megawatt Wind Turbine
,”
14th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
,
Boston, MA
, Aug. 5–10, pp.
2050
2058
.
61.
Gao
,
X.
, and
Hu
,
J.
,
2009
, “
Numerical Research of Reynolds Number Impact on Scale Model of Wind Turbine
,”
IEEE
World Non-Grid-Connected Wind Power and Energy Conference
,
Nanjing, China
, pp.
1
4
.10.1109/WNWEC.2009.5335811
62.
Burdett
,
T.
,
Gregg
,
J.
, and
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
,
2011
, “
An Examination of the Effect of Reynolds Number on Airfoil Performance
,”
ASME
Paper No. ESFuelCell2011-54720. 10.1115/ESFuelCell2011-54720
63.
Ronsten
,
G.
,
1992
, “
Static Pressure Measurements in a Rotating and Non-Rotating 2.375 m Wind Turbine Blade. Comparison With 2D Calculations
,”
J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn.
,
39
(
1–3
), pp.
105
118
.10.1016/0167-6105(92)90537-K
64.
Snel
,
H.
,
Houwindk
,
R.
,
Bosschers
,
R.
,
Piers
,
W. J.
,
Van Bussel
,
G. J. W.
, and
Bruining
,
A.
,
1993
, “
Sectional Prediction of 3-D Effects for Stalled Flow on Rotating Blades and Comparison With Measurements
,”
European Community Wind Energy Conference
,
Lübeck-Travemünde, Germany
, Mar. 8–12, pp.
395
399
.
65.
Drela
,
M.
,
1989
, “
XFOIL: An Analysis and Design System for Low Reynolds Number Airfoils
,”
Conference on Low Reynolds Number Airfoil Aerodynamics, University of Notre Dame
, Notre Dame, IN, June 5–7, pp.
1
12
.10.1007/978-3-642-84010-4_1
66.
McGranahan
,
B. D.
, and
Selig
,
M. S.
,
2003
, “
Surface Oil Flow Measurements on Several Airfoils at Low Reynolds Numbers
,”
AIAA
Paper No. 2003-4067. 10.2514/6.2003-4067
67.
Van Treuren
,
K. W.
, and
Gregg
,
J. R.
,
2010
, “
Testing Rotating Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Blade Designs in a Laboratory Wind Tunnel
,”
ASME
Paper No. GT2010-23575. 10.1115/GT2010-23575
68.
Baansal
,
A.
,
Howey
,
D.
, and
Holmes
,
A.
,
2009
, “
CM-Scale Air Turbine and Generator for Energy Harvesting From Low-Speed Flows
,”
Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference
,
TRANSDUCERS 2009
,
Denver, CO
, pp.
529
532
.10.1109/SENSOR.2009.5285378
69.
Predescu
,
M.
,
Bejinariu
,
A.
,
Nedelcu
,
A.
,
Mitroi
,
O.
,
Nae
,
C.
,
Pricop
,
M.
, and
Craciunescu
,
A.
,
2008
, “
Wind Tunnel Assessment of Small Direct Drive Wind Turbines With Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator
,”
ICREPQ 2008
,
Santander, Spain
, pp.
1
6
.
You do not currently have access to this content.