Wind turbine blade characteristics

In summary, you will need to measure thrust and bending moment in order to calculate lift and lift center for a wind turbine blade.
  • #1
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I'm about to start a project in which I want to study the effects of making modifications to a wind turbine blade. I am going to be able to use various external flow modeling software our aerospace labs. I am a mechanical engineer and am used to using solidworks and I understand that that can be used for some external flow. My real question is here:

-I have access to a wind tunnel and rapid prototype machine. I wish to model and place in the wind tunnel a wind turbine blade using the S809 airfoil. There is just a major point I am missing: how do I go about determining the lift/drag coefficients within the wind tunnel? I am far removed from the process of determining these and was hoping someone could point me in a general direction.

thanks.
 
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  • #2
Upon what will your turbine blade model be mounted? Can the mount apparatus be fited with force-measuring devices?
 
  • #3
Yup. You need to measure the forces on the blade in the tunnel.
 
  • #4
I'll get a chance to see the tunnel some time soon and then I can better answer those questions.

Regards,
Kane
 
  • #5
If the blades rotation speed is slow compared to the wind speed would it be enough to mount the blade fixed in the airflow and just measure the torque at the root as it tries to turn?
It would be much convenient to build and instrument than a rotating blade set.
 
  • #6
So you want to measure the characteristics of just the S809 or a partial rotor assy? I'll assume you mean assy for now. You'd be better off with the complete blade set, but could use an offset counterbalance for the centrifugal and aerodynamic forces. Trouble is what offset to use because you don't know the aerodynamic forces...

You will need to measure thrust and bending moment to get an idea of lift and lift centre. Same for drag. Lift/drag centre usually works out about 75% of radius for a straight blade, because the aerodynamic and centrifugal forces increase with radius squared (since proportional to v^2, and v increases with radius).

My advice would be optimise your design with an Excel based blade element model first, before you do your CFD or testing. This will get the design as close to right as practical. The general rules are that an "ideal" aerofoil is tapered with chord proportional to 1/Radius, and that this should be superimposed with an elliptical distribution for tip vortex losses. Most practical designs compromise the root choord, since the wind is free...

You can estimate the lift for the S809 section from:
http://www.engapplets.vt.edu/fluids/vpm/index.html

Actually, i'd be curious to develop my own blade element program to handle the windmill brake state of a helicopter rotor. ;)

Mart
 

Related to Wind turbine blade characteristics

1. What factors affect the design of wind turbine blades?

The design of wind turbine blades is affected by a variety of factors, including the wind speed and direction, the type of wind turbine being used, the desired power output, and the environmental conditions of the location where the turbine will be installed. Other factors that may influence blade design include the materials used, the shape and size of the blades, and the desired lifespan of the turbine.

2. How long are wind turbine blades?

The length of wind turbine blades can vary greatly depending on the type and size of the turbine. On average, blades range from 100 to 120 feet in length, but some larger turbines can have blades that are over 200 feet long. The length of the blades is an important factor in determining the overall power output of the turbine.

3. What materials are used to make wind turbine blades?

Most wind turbine blades are made of composite materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, or a combination of the two. These materials are lightweight, strong, and durable, making them ideal for withstanding the forces of wind and producing energy efficiently. Some newer technologies are exploring the use of materials such as wood or recycled plastic for making wind turbine blades.

4. How are wind turbine blades tested and evaluated?

Wind turbine blades undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure their safety, durability, and efficiency. This includes wind tunnel testing, computer simulations, and field testing. Manufacturers also conduct extensive research and development to continually improve blade design and performance. Once a blade design is deemed successful, it may be certified by a third-party organization before being used in commercial wind turbines.

5. How do wind turbine blades affect the noise level of wind turbines?

The design and shape of wind turbine blades can have a significant impact on the noise level of the turbine. Generally, longer and thinner blades tend to create less noise, while shorter and wider blades may produce more noise. However, noise levels also depend on the speed and direction of the wind, as well as the surrounding terrain and environment. Manufacturers strive to balance noise reduction with efficient energy production in their blade designs.

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