Experimental investigation of the effects of the Reynolds number on the performance and near wake of a wind turbine
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Wind tunnel experiments provide worthwhile insights for designing efficient micro wind energy harvesters and large-scale wind turbines. As wind tunnel tests with large-scale wind turbines are expensive and not always feasible, most experiments are conducted with geometrically scaled rotors. Furthermore, micro-scale runners used for wind energy harvesting face the issue of lower efficiency than large turbines. A better understanding of Reynolds number effects induced by the downsizing of a turbine would help to design more efficient wind energy harvesters and more faithfully scaled experiments. This paper reports on Reynolds number effects on the performance and wake of micro-scale wind turbines. Wind turbines’ power and torque coefficients are measured in a wind tunnel for a wide range of Reynolds numbers. The wake axial velocity fields and the vortex core locations are collected for three Reynolds numbers using phase-averaged and phase-locked stereoscopic particle image velocimetry techniques. The results emphasize that an increase in the Reynolds number leads to larger power coefficients, torque coefficients, and optimum tip-speed ratios. Higher Reynolds numbers induce wider wake expansion and a larger axial velocity defect. This quantitative analysis will contribute to a clearer understanding of the scaling effects and help to design more efficient wind energy harvesters.
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