Characterization of three-dimensional effects for the rotating and parked NREL phase VI wind turbine

Sven Schmitz, Jean Jacques Chattot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This paper addresses three-dimensional effects which are pertinent to wind turbine aerodynamics. Two computational models were applied to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Phase VI Rotor under rotating and parked conditions, a vortex line method using a prescribed wake, and a parallelized coupled Navier-Stokes/vortex-panel solver (PCS). The linking of the spanwise distribution of bound circulation between both models enabled the quantification of three-dimensional effects with PCS. For the rotating turbine under fully attached flow conditions, the effects of the vortex sheet dissipation and replacement by a rolled-up vortex on the computed radial force coefficients were investigated. A quantitative analysis of both radial pumping and Coriolis effect, known as the Himmelskamp effect, was performed for viscous as well as inviscid flow. For the parked turbine, both models were applied at various pitch angles corresponding to fully attached as well as stalled flow. For partially stalled flow, computed results revealed a vortical structure trailing from the blade's upper surface close to the 40% radial station. This trailing vortex was documented as a highly unsteady flow structure in an earlier detached eddy simulation by another group, however, it was not directly observed experimentally but only inferred. Computed results show very good agreement with measured wind tunnel data for the PCS model. Finally, a new method for extracting three-dimensional airfoil data is proposed that is particularly well suited for highly stalled flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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