Model Wind Turbines Tested at Full-Scale Similarity

M. A. Miller, J. Kiefer, C. Westergaard, Marcus Nils Hultmark

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The enormous length scales associated with modern wind turbines complicate any efforts to predict their mechanical loads and performance. Both experiments and numerical simulations are constrained by the large Reynolds numbers governing the full- scale aerodynamics. The limited fundamental understanding of Reynolds number effects in combination with the lack of empirical data affects our ability to predict, model, and design improved turbines and wind farms. A new experimental approach is presented, which utilizes a highly pressurized wind tunnel (up to 220 bar). It allows exact matching of the Reynolds numbers (no matter how it is defined), tip speed ratios, and Mach numbers on a geometrically similar, small-scale model. The design of a measurement and instrumentation stack to control the turbine and measure the loads in the pressurized environment is discussed. Results are then presented in the form of power coefficients as a function of Reynolds number and Tip Speed Ratio. Due to gearbox power loss, a preliminary study has also been completed to find the gearbox efficiency and the resulting correction has been applied to the data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032018
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 3 2016
EventScience of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2016 - Munich, Germany
Duration: Oct 5 2016Oct 7 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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