An Experimental Study of the Rotational Effects on Separated Turbulent Flow During Stall Delay

Yanhua Wu, Hsiao Mun Lee, Hui Tang, Martin Skote, Yong Shan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional velocity fields were measured using tomographic particle image velocimetry (Tomo-PIV) on a model of the blade of a small-scale horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) to study the effects of rotation on separated turbulent flows during stall delay at a global tip speed ratio (TSR) of 3 and a Reynolds number of 4800. The flow fields on a static airfoil were also measured at a similar angle-of-attack (AOA) and Reynolds number for comparison. It was observed that the blade’s rotation in the streamwise direction significantly affected both the mean flow and the turbulence statistics over the suction surface. The mean velocity fields revealed that, different from the airfoil flow at large AOA, the recirculation region with reversed flow did not exist on the suction surface of the blade and the flow was rather attached. Mean spanwise flow from blade’s root to its tip was also generated by the rotation. The mean vorticity vector of the blade flow was found to be tilted in the rotational direction of the blade, as well as in the wall-normal direction. Of particular effects of the rotation on Reynolds stresses were the enhancement of 〈w2〉 and the creation of strong 〈vw〉. The production of Reynolds stresses was also affected by blade’s rotation directly through the rotational production terms and indirectly by dramatically changing the fluctuating velocity fields. The distribution of enstrophy was observed to be modified by rotation, too.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Horizontal axis wind turbine
  • Rotational effects
  • Separated turbulent flow
  • Stall delay
  • Tomographic PIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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