Wind Tunnel Testing of NREL's Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

2001 ASME Wind Energy Symposium


American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Reno, NV

Conference Dates

January 8-11, 2001

Date of Presentation



The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment wind turbine was tested in the NASA Ames 80' by 120' (24.4 m by 36.6 m) wind tunnel during the spring of 2000. More than 200 channels of data were collected, each at over 500 samples per second. Of primary importance was the acquisition of blade surface pressures to characterize rotating blade aerodynamic responses. A large test matrix composed of more than 1,700 different turbine configurations and operating conditions is summarized. Nearly 2,200 data sets were collected amounting to over 100 giga-bytes of data. Examples of measured turbine aerodynamic and mechanical performance are provided. Also presented are aerodynamic measurements under unsteady aerodynamic conditions. Examples of wake extent flow visualization tests are also included. Because of the large data volume and wide varied of conditions under which testing occurred, only summary information is provided for more configurations.