Design of a wind turbine rotor for maximum aerodynamic efficiency

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    The design of a three-bladed wind turbine rotor is described, where the main focus has been highest possible mechanical power coefficient, CP, at a single operational condition. Structural, as well as off-design, issues are not considered, leading to a purely theoretical design for investigating maximum aerodynamic efficiency. The rotor is designed assuming constant induction for most of the blade span, but near the tip region, a constant load is assumed instead. The rotor design is obtained using an actuator disc model, and is subsequently verified using both a free-wake lifting line method and a full three-dimensional Navier-Stokes solver. Excellent agreement is obtained using the three models. Global CP reaches a value of slightly above 0.51, while global thrust coefficient CT is 0.87. The local power coefficient Cp increases to slightly above the Betz limit on the inner part of the rotor; the local thrust coefficient Ct increases to a value above 1.1. This agrees well with the theory of de Vries, which states that including the effect of the low pressure behind the centre of the rotor stemming from the increased rotation, both Cp and Ct will increase towards the root. Towards the tip, both Cp and Ct decrease due to tip corrections as well as drag. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind Energy
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)261-273
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Wind energy
    • Aeroelastic Design


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