Design and Implementation of the Rotor Blades of Small Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine

Document Type: Research Article


Mechanical Engineering Department, Suez Canal University, 51422, Egypt


Since the renewable resources of energy have become extremely important, especially wind energy, scientists have begun to modify the design of the wind turbine components, mainly rotor blades. Aerodynamic design considered a major research field related to power production of a small horizontal wind turbine, especially in low wind speed locations. This study displays an approach to the selection of airfoil and blade design utilized in small horizontal wind turbines with low cut-in speed and with no gear box. Modeling of the flow depends on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and theory of Blade Element Momentum (BEM) methodologies. QBlade used (BEM) for wind turbine simulation and integrated with XFOIL for airfoils design to ensure the requested characteristics for wind turbine performance. MATLAB is used to calculate the final design parameters to be modeled in SOLIDWORK. The flow dynamics are explored with the aid of ANSYS Fluent 16.  The application of specially designed blades grants start up at lower wind speeds. The designed blade is fabricated from polyurethane foam. Experimental study confirmed that, at low average wind velocity (4m/s), the fabricated small-scale horizontal wind turbines are considered to be a positive way to supply electricity with an average power rate of 9watt and efficiency of 8%.  


Main Subjects

1.     Tong, W., Fundamentals of wind energy, Kollmorgen Corporation, Virginia, USA, (2010). (http://www. and Presentations/Fundamentals-of-Wind_Ian-Baring-Gould_NREL. pdf).

2.     Burton, T., Jenkins, N., Sharpe, D. and Bossanyi, E., Wind energy handbook, 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester, (2011). ( AS3A273535103111175).

3.     Ministry of Electricity & Renewable Energy, New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), Egypt's renewable energy activities and strategy, (2017). (https://sustainabledevelopment. Mohamed ElSobki.pdf).

4.     Clean energy development in Egypt, African Development Bank, (2012). ( Documents/Policy-Documents/Cata Energie Anglais.pdf).

5.     Renewable energy in Egypt, the green opportunity, (February 2017). ( renewable-energyinegyptthegreenopportunity).

6.     Wang, Z., Tian, W. and Hu, H., "A comparative study on the aeromechanic performances of upwind and downwind horizontal-axis wind turbines", Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 163, (2018), 100-110. (DOI: 10.1016 /j.enconman.2018.02.038).

7.     Selig, M., Gopalarathnam, A., Giguere, P. and Lyon, C., "Systematic airfoil design studies at low Reynolds numbers", Proceedings of The Conference on Fixed, Flapping and Rotary Wing Vehicles at Very Low Reynolds Numbers, Notre Dame, (2000), 5-7. ( 0167).

8.     Costa Rocha, P.A., Barbosa Rocha, H.H., Moura Carneiro, F.O., Vieira da Silva, M.E. and Freitas de Andrade, C., "A case study on the calibration of the k-ω SST (shear stress transport) turbulence model for small scale wind turbines designed with cambered and symmetrical airfoils", Energy, Vol. 97, (2016), 144-150. (

9.     Bai, C.J., Hsiao, F.B., Li, M.H., Huang, G.Y. and Chen, Y.J., "Design of 10 kW horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) blade and aerodynamic investigation using numerical simulation", Proceedings of 7th Asian-Pacific Conference on Aerospace Technology and Science, Procedia Engineering, Vol. 67, (2013), 279-287. (

10.   Kumar Chaudhary, M. and Roy, A.,"Design & optimization of a small wind turbine blade for operation at low wind speed", World Journal of Engineering, Vol.12, (2015), 83-94. (DOI: 10.1260/1708-5284.12.1.83).

11.   Abrar, M.A., Mahbub, A.M.I. and Mamun, M., "Design optimization of a horizontal axis micro wind turbine through development of CFD model and experimentation", Procedia Engineering, Vol. 90, (2014), 333-338. ( j.proeng.2014.11.858).

12.   Jebarose Juliyana, S., Udaya Prakash, J., Karthik, K., Pallavi, P. and Saleem M., "Design and analysis of NACA4420 wind turbine aero-foil using CFD", International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, Vol. 8, No. 6, (2017), 403-410. ( uploadfolder/IJMET_08_06_042/IJMET_08_06_042.pdf).

13.   Lee, M.-H., Shiah, Y.C. and Bai, C.-J., "Experiments and numerical simulations of the rotor-blade performance for a small-scale horizontal axis wind turbine", Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol. 149, (2016), 17-29. (

14.   Durga Prasad, B. and Vishnu Vardhan, T., "Finite element analysis and experimental investigations on small size wind turbine blades", International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 3, (2012), 493-503. (

15.   Koc, E., Günel, O. and Yavuz, T., "Comparison of Q-blade and CFD results of small scaled horizontal axis wind turbine analysis", 5th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications, UK, (2016). (DOI: 10.1109/ ICRERA.2016.7884538).

16.   Ali, A., Chowdhury, H., Loganathan, B. and Alam, F., "An aerodynamic study of a domestic scale horizontal sxis wind turbine with varied tip configurations", Procedia Engineering, Vol. 105, (2015), 757-762. ( 2015.05.067).

17.   Pambudi, N.A., Pristiandaru, D.L., Basori, Wijayanto, D.S., Sriwardani, N., Rahman, N., Bugis, H., Wahyudi, B.D., Sudibyo, C., Karno, M.W. and Subagsono, "Experimental investigation of wind turbine using nozzle-lens at low wind speed condition", Energy Procedia, Vol. 105, (2017), 1063-1069. ( 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.459).

18.   Dilimulati, A., Stathopoulos, T. and Paraschivoiu, M.,"Wind turbine designs for urban applications: A case study of shrouded diffuser casing for turbines", Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol. 175, (2018), 179-192. (

19.   Mohammadi, M.R., Mohammadi, A.R., Mohammadi M. and Neisi Minaei, H.,"Optimization of small scale wind turbine blades for low speed conditions", International Journal of Clean Energy Technoligies,Vol.4, No. 2, (2016), 140-143. (DOI: 10.7763/JOCET.2016.V4.268).

20.   Oluseyi, A., Opeyemi, O., Abiodun, A.S., Akinwale, A. and Alex, W., "Novel airfoil design for small horizontal axis wind turbine: A preliminary result", Proceedings of Third Southern African Solar Energy Conference, (2015), 181-186. (

21.   Wright, A.K. and Wood, D.H., "The starting and low wind speed behavior of a small horizontal axis wind turbine", Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol. 92, (2004), 1265-1279. ( 003).

22.   Singh, R.K., Rafiuddin Ahmed, M., Zullah, M.A. and Lee, Y.-H., "Design of a low Reynolds number airfoil for small horizontal axis wind turbines", Renewable Energy, Vol. 42, (2012), 66-76. (

23.   Somers, D.M. and Tangler, J.L., "NREL airfoil families for HAWTs", National Renewable Energy Laboratory, (1995). (DOI: 10.2172/10106095).

24.   Drela, M., "XFOIL subsonic airfoil development", (, 1986).

25.   Selig, M.S. and McGranahab, B.D.,"Wind tunnel aerodynamic tests of six airfoils for use on small turbines", National Renewable Energy Laboratory, (2004). (DOI: 10.1115/ 1.1793208).

26.   Kale, S.A. and Varma, R.N., "Aerodynamic design of a horizontal axis micro wind turbine blade using NACA 4412 profile", International Journal of Renewable Energy Research, Vol. 4, No. 1, (2014). ( 261170924).

27.   Karthikeyan, N., Kalidasa Murugavel, K., Arun Kumar, S. and Rajakumar, S.,"Review of aerodynamic developments on small horizontal axis wind turbine blade", Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 42, (2015), 801-822. (

28.   Navin Prasad, E., Janakiram, S., Prabu, T. and Sivasubramaniam, S.,"Design and development of horizontal small wind turbine blade for low wind speeds", International Journal of Engineering Science & Advanced Technology, Vol. 4, (2014), 75-84. ( 2014_01_01_14.pdf).

29.   Kanyako, F. and Janajreh, I., "Investigating blade performance of small horizontal axis wind turbine based on blade element momentum theory", 1st International Conference & Exhibition on the Applications of Information Technology to Renewable Energy Processes and Systems, Amman, Jordan, (2013). (DOI: 10.1109/IT-DREPS.2013.6588158).

30.   Khaled, M., Ibrahim, M.M., Abdel Hamed, H.E. and Abdel Gawad A.F., "Aerodynamic design and blade angle analysis of a small horizontal-axis wind turbine", American Journal of Modern Energy, Vol. 3, No. (2), (2017), 23-37. (doi: 10.11648/j.ajme.20170302.12).

31.   Aitchison, D., Brooks, H., Bain, J. and Pons, D.,"An investigation into the prediction of optimal machining conditions for polystyrene foam cut with a taut hot-wire", The Annals of “Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati Fascicle V, (2009). (

32.   Abeysinghe, A., Abeysiriwar, S., Nanayakkarawasam, R., Wimalsiri, W., Lalitharatne, T. and Tennakoon, S., "Development of a numerically controlled hot wire foam cutting machine for wing mould construction", Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, (2016). (DOI: 10.1109/MERCon.2016.7480116).

33.   Sahin, A.Z., Al-Garni, A.Z. and Al-Farayedhi, A., "Analysis of a small horizontal axis wind turbine performance", International Journal of Energy Research, Vol. 25, (2001), 501-506. (DOI: 10.1002/er.699).