An efficient blade sweep correction model for blade element momentum theory

E.K. Fritz*, Carlos Ferreira, Koen Boorsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


This article proposes an efficient correction model that enables the extension of the blade element momentum method (BEM) for swept blades. Standard BEM algorithms, assuming a straight blade in the rotor plane, cannot account for the changes in the induction system introduced by blade sweep. The proposed extension corrects the axial induction regarding two aspects: the azimuthal displacement of the trailed vorticity system and the induction of the curved bound vortex on itself. The extended algorithm requires little additional processing work and maintains BEM's streamtube independent approach. The proposed correction model is applied to simulations of swept blade geometries based on the IEA 15 MW reference wind turbine. Results show good agreement with lifting line simulations that inherently can account for the swept blade geometry.

Blade sweep couples bending and torsion deformations by curving the blade axis in the inplane direction. As such, it can be used to passively alleviate loads and, thus, aeroelastically tailor wind turbine blades. The implementation of aeroelastic tailoring techniques, and the aeroelastic analysis in general, becomes increasingly significant with the size of wind turbine rotors continually rising. Due to its low computing complexity, BEM remains a crucial tool in the aerodynamic and aeroelastic analysis of wind turbine rotors. Thus, the proposed correction model contributes to a fast and accurate evaluation of swept blade designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-1994
Number of pages18
JournalWind Energy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • blade element momentum theory
  • blade sweep
  • engineering model
  • wind turbine aerodynamics

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