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Performance evaluation, wake study, and flow visualization of air and large diameter water droplets around the blade of a micro horizontal axis wind turbine Open Access


Other title
wind turbine
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Comyn, Graeme Ian
Supervisor and department
Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)
Fleck, Brian (Mechanical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Toogood, Roger (Mechanical Engineering)
Loewen, Mark (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This thesis presents a performance evaluation of a micro horizontal axis wind turbine, investigates the use of particle image velocimetry (PIV) to capture the flow field around a rotating blade and to track water droplets in the flow. The testing was done in a low speed wind tunnel in a highly blocked configuration. The turbine was instrumented to measure rotational speed of the rotor, axial thrust and power output. Wind speed of the wake was measured with a Kiel probe. Performance characteristics were calculated and compared with the manufacturer’s published data and to power predictions by axial momentum theories. The turbine was shown to perform well and the manufacturer’s published data are accurate. Axial momentum theory over-predicts power by approximately 50%. It is shown that good PIV results can be obtained using a fog machine to seed the flow. Improved illumination and optics will be required to measure 3D flow close to the blade. Water droplets can be tracked but a shadowgraphy arrangement should be used to better visualize the droplets. The droplets also affect the rotational speed of the rotor such that capturing the blade in a consistent point in the field of view is problematic.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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