Vortex system studies on small wind turbines


  • Montgomerie Björn
  • Dahlberg Jan-Åke

Publish date: 2003-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--0936--SE

Pages: 27

Written in: English


The wind tunnel experiment reported included a small wind turbine setup and smoke to visualize the trailing tip vortices for different wind turbine configurations. Several combinations of tunnel wind speeds and tip speed ratios generated a database where the end result functions were radius and pitch, of the tip vortex spirals, versus the downstream coordinate. The Reynolds number in the experiment was very low compared to that of full size tubines. The results should therefore be seen as valid only for low Reynolds numbers. The models were 18 and 25 cm diameter turbines. This is thought to be complementary to the information obtained in similar wind tunnel investigations for much larger models. The database is meant to be a fundamental tool for the construction of practical aerodynamic induction methods. Such methods typically employ the Biot-Savart law has been shown to lead to a flow field, which deviates considerably from that of reality. E.g. concentration into tip vortices does not happen when the flow is simulated with Biot-Savart law only. Thus, a combination of the induction method and its modification, based on investigations such as the one reported, is foreseen to replace the widely used Blade Element Momentum method for wind turbine loads and performance prediction.