Three-Dimensional Airfoil Performance Measurements on a Rotating Wing

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    The objective of this comprehensive research program was to study the effects of horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) blade rotation on aerodynamic behavior below, near, and beyond stall. This paper describes the flow angle sensor used to measure angle of attack (AOA) and how the sensor was calibrated, and it gives results of pressure integrations on the blade. Aerodynamic, load,flow-visualization, and inflow measurements were made on a 10-m, three-bladed, downwind HAWT. A video camera was mounted on the rotor to record video images of tufts attached to the low-pressure side of a constant-chord, zero-twist blade. Load measurements were made using strain gages mounted every 10% of the blade's span, and pressure measurements were made at 80'16 of the blade's span.Pressure taps were located at 32 chordwise positions and revealed pressure distributions comparable with wind tunnel data. Inflow was measured using a vertical-plane array of eight propvane and five triaxial (U-V-W) prop-type anemometers located 10 m upwind in the predominant wind direction. Results show evidence of stall hysteresis and unsteadiness at high AOA. Correlations with analyticalpredictions and wind tunnel tests show good agreement at low AOA and poor agreement at high AOA.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages7
    StatePublished - 1989

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-217-3505


    • flow angle sensor
    • horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT)
    • pressure
    • wind energy


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