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Investigation of vortex generators for augmentation of wind turbine power performance

Description: This study focuses on the use of vortex generators (VGs) for performance augmentation of the stall-regulated AWT-26 wind turbine. The goal was to design a VG array which would increase annual energy production (AEP) by increasing power output at moderate wind speeds, without adversely affecting the loads or stall-regulation performance of the turbine. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted at the University of Washington to evaluate the effect of VGs on the AWT-26 blade, which is lofted from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) S-series airfoils. Based on wind-tunnel results and analysis, a VG array was designed and then tested on the AWT-26 prototype, designated P1. Performance and loads data were measured for P1, both with and without VGs installed. the turbine performance with VGs met most of the design requirements; power output was increased at moderate wind speeds with a negligible effect on peak power. However, VG drag penalties caused a loss in power output for low wind speeds, such that performance with VGs resulted in a net decrease in AEP for sites having annual average wind speeds up to 8.5 m/s. While the present work did not lead to improved AEP for the AWT-2 turbine, it does provide insight into performance augmentation of wind turbines with VGs. The safe design of a VG array for a stall-regulated turbine has been demonstrated, and several issues involving optimal performance with VGs have been identified and addressed. 15 refs., 34 figs., 10 tabs.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Griffin, D.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department