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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Jerry Ku


A horizontal axis wind turbine design and analysis have been investigated using a numerical code based on the blade element momentum theory (BEM). The code is improved to quantify miscalculated power at stalled flow regime. By means of Selig and Viterna, one can correct aerodynamic characteristics by taking into account the three-dimensional flow physics such as stall delay effect, rotational effect and separation. Using lifting-Surface theory (LST) to correct 2D aerofoil data for input of the BEM code has been analyzed. A commercial software program and CFD code are also studied and compared with the BEM code.

Designing the turbine NREL Phase VI S809 airfoil with the BEM code is validated with measurements conducted by the NASA Ames Research Center. As a result of power, the BEM code using 3D flow correction can quantify more accurately in comparison with that of using wind tunnel aerodynamic data. BEM code using the LST flow correction is in a good agreement with measurements. CFD code overestimates the performance at low speed, whereas a software tool can satisfactorily predict the performance at low speed, but overestimates at higher velocity.

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