Effect of Surface Roughness on Wind Turbine Performance
MetadataShow full item record
Wind farm operators observe production deficits as machines age. Quantifying deterioration on individual components is difficult, but one potential explanation is accumulation of blade surface roughness. Historically, wind turbine airfoils were designed for lift to be insensitive to roughness by simulating roughness with trip strips. However, roughness was still shown to negatively affect performance. Furthermore, experiments illustrated distributed roughness is not properly simulated by trip strips. To understand how real-world roughness affects performance, field measurements of turbine-blade roughness were made and simulated on a NACA 63_(3)-418 airfoil in a wind tunnel. Insect roughness and paint chips were characterized and recreated as distributed roughness and a forward-facing step. Distributed roughness was tested in three heights and five density configurations. The model chord Reynolds number was varied between 0:8 to 4:8 × 10^(6). Measurements of lift, drag, pitching moment, and boundary-layer transition were completed. Results indicate minimal effect from paint-chip roughness. As distributed roughness height and density increase, lift-curve slope, maximum lift, and lift-to-drag ratio decrease. As Reynolds number increases, bypass transition occurs earlier. The critical roughness Reynolds number varies between 178 to 318, within the historical range. Little sensitivity to pressure gradient is observed. At a chord Reynolds number of 3:2×10^(6), the maximum lift-to-drag ratio decreases 40% for 140 µm roughness, corresponding to a 2.3% loss in annual energy production. Simulated performance loss compares well to measured performance loss on an in-service wind turbine.
Ehrmann, Robert Schaefer (2014). Effect of Surface Roughness on Wind Turbine Performance. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from