Experimental Study Of Flow Field Of An Aerofoil Shaped Diffuser With A Porous Screen Simulating The Rotor

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This study presents an experimental investigation on a diffuser augmented wind turbine (DAWT). A screen mesh is used to simulate the energy extraction mechanisms of a wind turbine in experiment. Different screen porosities corresponding to different turbine loading coefficients are tested. Measurements of the axial force and of the velocity distribution in radial direction are reported. The general purpose is to highlight the dependency between the diffuser and the screen, and to compare the radial velocity distributions in the diffuser between unloaded and loaded conditions. It is shown that the thrust on an unshrouded screen is lower than on a shrouded screen, under the same inflow condition. Moreover, the thrust on the diffuser largely depends on the screen loading. For the present configuration, the thrust on the screen with high loading coefficient contributes for more than 70% of the total thrust on the DAWT. Smoke visualizations and radial velocity profiles reveal that the high loading screen induces flow separation on the outer surface of the diffuser, justifying the results of the thrust measurements. It is also inferred that the flow separation leads to loss of thrust and has a great effect on the total pressure drag. It should be emphasized that the experimental results indicate that the flow field around the diffuser is strongly affected by the choice of screen porosity, that is, turbine loading. And that, the thrust coefficient of the diffuser does not show a linear dependence on the thrust coefficient of the screen. The axial momentum theory, therefore, is not a solid predictor for DAWT performance with high loaded screens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-512
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • actuator disc
  • axial momentum theory
  • diffuser
  • ducted wind turbine

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