Determination of the angle of attack on rotor blades



Two simple methods for determining the angle of attack (AOA) on a section of a rotor blade are proposed. Both techniques consist of employing the Biot–Savart integral to determine the influence of the bound vorticity on the velocity field. In the first technique, the force distribution along the blade and the velocity at a monitor point in the vicinity of the blade are assumed to be known from experiments or CFD computations. The AOA is determined by subtracting the velocity induced by the bound circulation, determined from the loading, from the velocity at the monitor point. In the second method, the full pressure distribution on the blade is assumed to be known and used to determine the local distribution of circulation along the surface contour of the blade. Using the local distribution of circulation to determine the influence of the bound vorticity enables the velocity monitor points to be located closer to the blade, and thus to determine the AOA with higher accuracy. Data from CFD computations for flows past the Tellus 95 kW wind turbine at different wind speeds are used to test both techniques. Comparisons show that the proposed methods are in good agreement with existing techniques. The advantage of the proposed techniques, as compared with existing techniques, is that they can be used to determine the AOA on rotor blades under general flow conditions (e.g. operations in yaw or with dynamic inflow). Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.