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

  • Author / Creator
    Comyn, Graeme Ian
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.