James Menart (Committee Member), Mitch Wolff (Committee Member), Zifeng Yang (Advisor)
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)
Energy can be captured from wind turbines efficiently today. However there's always room for improvement up to the Betz's limit of 59.3% efficiency. A novel wind turbine blade was designed with double blade rotor inspired by Houck's concept in an attempt to improve the efficiency of the horizontal axis wind turbine. Scaled wind turbine models with a diameter of 150 mm were designed in SolidWorks adjusting the parameters of stagger, gap, and decalage. The general design comprises of two modern blades attached by a curved flow guide at the tip. Fourteen blade models were designed and tested to obtain power, force, wake flow data from particle image velocimetry (PIV), and acoustic emission data. Blade No. 5, which gave the highest power output among all blades, showed up to 7% improvement in the power extracted from the wind for high tip speed ratios. Compared to the baseline single blade wind turbine, the wake of No. 5 blade is more regulated in terms of less turbulence by the double-blade effect and contains more flow energy, which could benefit wind turbines downstream in a wind farm. This indicates that the novel design of No. 5 significantly suppressed the separation from the lower blade and thus a less turbulent wake was observed. Another point worth considering is that the noise level for this blade decreased slightly, which is advantageous.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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