Global surface pressure measurements of static and dynamic stall on a wind turbine airfoil at low Reynolds number

  • Kevin J. Disotell
  • Pourya Nikoueeyan
  • Jonathan W. Naughton
  • James W. Gregory
Research Article


Recognizing the need for global surface measurement techniques to characterize the time-varying, three-dimensional loading encountered on rotating wind turbine blades, fast-responding pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) has been evaluated for resolving unsteady aerodynamic effects in incompressible flow. Results of a study aimed at demonstrating the laser-based, single-shot PSP technique on a low Reynolds number wind turbine airfoil in static and dynamic stall are reported. PSP was applied to the suction side of a Delft DU97-W-300 airfoil (maximum thickness-to-chord ratio of 30 %) at a chord Reynolds number of 225,000 in the University of Wyoming open-return wind tunnel. Static and dynamic stall behaviors are presented using instantaneous and phase-averaged global pressure maps. In particular, a three-dimensional pressure topology driven by a stall cell pattern is detected near the maximum lift condition on the steady airfoil. Trends in the PSP-measured pressure topology on the steady airfoil were confirmed using surface oil visualization. The dynamic stall case was characterized by a sinusoidal pitching motion with mean angle of 15.7°, amplitude of 11.2°, and reduced frequency of 0.106 based on semichord. PSP images were acquired at selected phase positions, capturing the breakdown of nominally two-dimensional flow near lift stall, development of post-stall suction near the trailing edge, and a highly three-dimensional topology as the flow reattaches. Structural patterns in the surface pressure topologies are considered from the analysis of the individual PSP snapshots, enabled by a laser-based excitation system that achieves sufficient signal-to-noise ratio in the single-shot images. The PSP results are found to be in general agreement with observations about the steady and unsteady stall characteristics expected for the airfoil.


Wind Tunnel Wind Turbine Wind Turbine Blade Pressure Topology Lift Curve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



K. Disotell gratefully acknowledges the financial support of a Career Development Grant and Presidential Fellowship from The Ohio State University, as well as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, during the course of this work. The authors are grateful for additional support from the US Department of Energy (DESC0001261, Timothy J. Fitzsimmons) as well as a gift to the University of Wyoming from BP Alternative Energy North America, Inc. Finally, the anonymous reviewers are thanked for their comments which strengthened the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin J. Disotell
    • 1
  • Pourya Nikoueeyan
    • 2
  • Jonathan W. Naughton
    • 2
  • James W. Gregory
    • 1
  1. 1.Aerospace Research Center, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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