Roughness Sensitivity Comparisons of Wind Turbine Blade Sections
MetadataShow full item record
One explanation for wind turbine power degradation is insect roughness. Historical studies on insect-induced power degradation have used simulation methods which are either unrepresentative of actual insect roughness or too costly or time-consuming to be applied to wide-scale testing. Furthermore, the role of airfoil geometry in determining the relations between insect impingement locations and roughness sensitivity has not been studied. To link the effects of airfoil geometry, insect impingement locations, and roughness sensitivity, a simulation code was written to determine representative insect collection patterns for different airfoil shapes. Insect collection pattern data was then used to simulate roughness on an NREL S814 airfoil that was tested in a wind tunnel at Reynolds numbers between 1:6 x 10^6 and 4:0 x 10^6. Results are compared to previous tests of a NACA 633-418 airfoil. Increasing roughness height and density results in decreased maximum lift, lift curve slope, and lift-to-drag ratio. Increasing roughness height, density, or Reynolds number results in earlier bypass transition, with critical roughness Reynolds numbers lying within the historical range. Increased roughness sensitivity on the 25% thick NREL S814 is observed compared to the 18% thick NACA 633-418. Blade-element-momentum analysis was used to calculate annual energy production losses of 4.9% and 6.8% for a NACA 633-418 turbine and an NREL S814 turbine, respectively, operating with 200 µm roughness. These compare well to historical field measurements.
Wilcox, Benjamin Jacob (2016). Roughness Sensitivity Comparisons of Wind Turbine Blade Sections. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from