Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

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

Valentin Soloiu

Committee Member 2

Marcel Ilie


The present thesis focuses on the investigations of the computational fluid dynamics analysis and the experimental study of small scales Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) blades. The initial steps are taken; in the process of this research were the selection of the airfoil type to be used in each blade design and the creation of a blade design with high efficiency operating in a low wind speed zone. For the mentioned blade design process, the following airfoils were selected respectively NACA 0010, NACA 0012, NACA 1412, NACA 2412, NACA 2414, NACA 4412 and NACA 6412. This selection intends to provide each blade with a greater lift force, as well as an increase in the Tip Speed Ratio (TSR). An angle of attack (AOA) 10°, 20°, and 30° are added to each blade design with reference to the longitudinal hub axis. Using the CFD software Fluent and FEA a structural analysis and computational fluid dynamic simulations were performed on one hand in order to confirm that the design is structurally sounded and on the other hand, to predict the theoretical aerodynamic performance of the blades. Eight different models of blades were designed and fabricated to conduct the experimental study, using a wind tunnel and data acquisition system to determine the performance of each blade at different wind speeds and different angles of attacks. Analyzing the results from the experimental part of the research using MATLAB indicates a significant improvement of the blade efficiency. At an optimum angle of attack between 8 degrees and 12 degrees, a minimum wind speed of 8 m/s, and an angle of twist of 17.5 degrees, the turbine generated 357 mW with a calculated improved efficiency of 24.5%.

Research Data and Supplementary Material