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Determination of the angle of attack on a research wind turbine rotor blade using surface pressure measurements

Soto-Valle, Rodrigo; Bartholomay, Sirko; Alber, Jörg; Manolesos, Marinos; Nayeri, Christian Navid; Paschereit, Christian Oliver

In this paper, a method to determine the angle of attack on a wind turbine rotor blade using a chordwise pressure distribution measurement was applied. The approach used a reduced number of pressure tap data located close to the blade leading edge. The results were compared with the measurements from three external probes mounted on the blade at different radial positions and with analytical calculations. Both experimental approaches used in this study are based on the 2-D flow assumption; the pressure tap method is an application of the thin airfoil theory, while the probe method applies geometrical and induction corrections to the measurement data. The experiments were conducted in the wind tunnel at the Hermann Föttinger Institut of the Technische Universität Berlin. The research turbine is a three-bladed upwind horizontal axis wind turbine model with a rotor diameter of 3 m. The measurements were carried out at rated conditions with a tip speed ratio of 4.35, and different yaw and pitch angles were tested in order to compare the approaches over a wide range of conditions. Results show that the pressure tap method is suitable and provides a similar angle of attack to the external probe measurements as well as the analytical calculations. This is a significant step for the experimental determination of the local angle of attack, as it eliminates the need for external probes, which affect the flow over the blade and require additional calibration.
Published in: Wind Energy Science, 10.5194/wes-5-1771-2020, Copernicus