• tomographic PIV;
  • horizontal-axis wind turbine;
  • turbulence effects;
  • static pressure


Volumetric velocity fields were measured using tomographic particle image velocimetry on a model of the blade of a 5 kW horizontal-axis wind turbine to study the effects of freestream turbulence levels (FTLs) at 0.4%, 4% and 13% on stall delay phenomenon at two different global tip speed ratios of 3 and 5 with Reynolds number (Re) ࣈ 5000. Static pressures were measured, and results illustrated that FTL has stronger effect on the surface pressures of the static airfoil. Magnitudes of the absolute velocities within the separated flows above the static airfoil's suction surface increase significantly with higher FTL, while the changes of these velocities above the rotating blade's surface are less obvious. Radial flows from rotating blade's root to tip were also observed with strong spanwise velocity component located in the vicinities of the vortices. At the root and middle sections of the rotating blade, the flows with strong radial velocity component, w, become wider with higher FTL near to the rotating blade's leading edge when the angles of attack (AOAs) are large. At large AOAs, the strength and size of the vortices shed from the rotating blade's leading and trailing edges decrease significantly with higher FTL. However, at small AOAs, the size and coherence of the vortices near the rotating blade's trailing edge increase significantly with higher FTL. Surface streamlines of the rotating blade illustrated that at the rotating blade's root region and at large AOAs, the streamlines tend to lean toward the rotating blade's trailing edge at higher FTL. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.