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Feasibility study on unsteady wind tunnel measurements on aerofoils for MW scale HAWTs

In order to simulate the aero-elastic behaviour of a wind turbine correctly, a model of dynamic stall should be included in the simulation tool. Most dynamic stall models, however, have in common that a number of coefficients have to be deduced from a synthesis of unsteady wind tunnel measurements.

The prediction capabilities of these models would greatly improve if the coefficients could be correlated with aerofoil data, obtained from unsteady tests conducted at inflow conditions (defined by Reynolds and Mach number, reduced frequency, mean angle of attack and amplitude of oscillation) which are pertinent to large HAWTs.

The project was undertaken to investigate the feasibility of such unsteady wind tunnel tests as it was anticipated that tests would be very costly and would most likely be beyond the present state of the art, due to the combination of high Reynolds number (~7 Million), low Mach number (< 0.2), and large amplitude of oscillation (~15 degrees).

The project aimed at a realistic test set-up and work plan including an appropriate set of tests to be conducted, a description of the minimum technical requirements to which the wind tunnel and the related equipment should comply, and a complete list of European wind tunnels that meet the requirements.

The results highlighted problems in defining certain of the wind tunnel tests, but also showed that it is technically possible to conduct an appropriate set of tests. Only a few European test facilities have the necessary experience and equipment to conduct the proposed tests, most likely in a pressurised wind tunnel.

Reported by

ECN Netherlands Energy Research Foundation
Westerduinweg 3
1755 Petten
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