Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Mosfequr Rahman

Committee Member 1

Aniruddha Mitra

Committee Member 2

Valentin Soloiu


With the global energy demand rising to unprecedented numbers, the need for alternative energy sources is ever prevalent. Wind energy is the most alternative renewable sources today due to its year-round availability and pollution-free nature. Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT) are the most popular because of their higher efficiency. The aerodynamic characteristics and vibration of small scale HAWT with various numbers of blade design have been investigated in this numerical study in order to improve its performance. SolidWorks was used for designing CAD models, and ANSYS software was used to study the dynamic flow around the turbine as well as the natural frequencies and mode shapes. Two, three, and five bladed HAWTs of 87 cm rotor diameter were designed. The wind flow around the whole wind turbine and static behavior of the HAWT rotor was solved using Moving Reference Frame (MRF) solver. The HAWT rotor results were used to initialize the Sliding Mesh Models (SMM) solver and study the dynamic behavior of HAWT rotor. The pressure and velocity contours on different blades surfaces were analyzed and presented in this work. The pressure and velocity contours around the entire turbine models were also analyzed. The power coefficient was calculated using the tip speed ratio (TSR) and the moment coefficient and the results were compared to the theoretical and other research. The results show that the increase of number of blades from two to three increases the efficiency, however, the power coefficient remains relatively the same or sometimes decreases for five bladed turbine models. HAWT rotors and shaft vibrations were analyzed for two different materials using an applied pressure load imported from ANSYS fluent environment. During this thesis work, it has proven that a good choice of material is crucial during the design process.

Research Data and Supplementary Material