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Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a New Small Wind Turbine Blade

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Title: Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a New Small Wind Turbine Blade
Author: Song, Qiyue
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Lubitz, William David
Abstract: A small wind turbine blade was designed, fabricated and tested in this study. The power performance of small horizontal axis wind turbines was simulated in detail using modified blade element momentum methods (BEM). Various factors such as tip loss, drag coefficient, and wake were considered. The simulation was validated by experimental data collected from a small wind turbine Bergey XL 1.0. A new blade was designed for the Bergey XL 1.0 after comparing three types of aerodynamic blade structures and their related performance, and then the detailed blade structure was determined. The performance of the new rotor at different additional pitch angles was simulated and compared with the original Bergey XL 1.0 rotor. To fabricate prototypes of the new blades, a resin transfer moulding (RTM) system was designed and built. Three blades were fabricated successfully and installed on the hub of an existing Bergey XL 1.0. In a vehicle-based test system, the new blades were tested at the original designed pitch angle, plus at additional 5° and 9° pitch angles. The +5° rotor reached maximum power of 1889 W at wind velocity 13.6 m/s. The +9° rotor performed over a wider wind velocity range and output slightly lower power than the original Bergey XL 1.0. The new blades have better aerodynamic performance than original Bergey XL 1.0.
Date: 2012-04
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