Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Ha-rok Bae (Committee Member), James Menart (Committee Member), Zifeng Yang (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


Wind turbine dynamics, wake effects and environmental impacts have been identified the most significant research topics needed for wind resource characterization and wind power generation. Among these issues, tip vortices generated from the blade tip have been recognized as a substantial resource for the turbulent wake flow as well as the aerodynamic noise emission from a wind turbine. An experimental study is conducted to characterize the evolution of the tip vortices downstream of a well-designed horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) model. In addition to measuring dynamic wind loads (both aerodynamic forces and moments) and power output from the wind turbine model, a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system is used to make phase-locked flow field measurements to quantify the time-evolution of the tip vortices and turbulence flow structures in the wake of the wind turbine model. The objective of this study is to find an effective way to restrict the development of tip vortices and thus the consequential noise emission. By altering the blade tip design, unwanted tip vortices and vibration of the blade are suppressed considerably. The detailed flow field measurements are correlated with the wind load and power output measurements to elucidate the underlying physics associated with power generation and environmental impacts of wind turbines.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.