Aerodynamic Performance and Vibration Analyses of Small Scale Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine with Various Number of Blades

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Power and Energy Engineering






The need to generate power from renewable sources to reduce demand for fossil fuels and the damage of their resulting carbon dioxide emissions is now well understood. Wind is among the most popular and fastest growing sources of alternative energy in the world. It is an inexhaustible, indigenous resource, pollution-free, and available almost any time of the day, especially in coastal regions. As a sustainable energy resource, electrical power generation from the wind is increasingly important in national and international energy policy in response to climate change. Experts predict that, with proper development, wind energy can meet up to 20% of US needs. Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) are the most popular because of their higher efficiency. The aerodynamic characteristics and vibration of small scale HAWT with various numbers of blade designs have been investigated in this numerical study in order to improve its performance. SolidWorks was used for designing Computer Aided Design (CAD) models, and ANSYS software was used to study the dynamic flow around the turbine. Two, three, and five bladed HAWTs of 87 cm rotor diameter were designed. A HAWT tower of 100 cm long and 6 cm diameter was considered during this study while a shaft of 10.02 cm diameter was chosen. A good choice of airfoils and angle of attack is a key in the designing of a blade of rough surface and maintaining the maximum lift to drag ratio. The S818, S825 and S826 airfoils were used from the root to the tip and 4° critical angle of attack was considered. In this paper, a more appropriate numerical models and an improved method have been adopted in comparable with other models and methods in the literature. 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. It has proven that a good choice of material is crucial during the design process.