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Research And Design On Wind Turbines

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Projects & Laboratories in Mechanical ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1036.1 - 13.1036.8



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Paper Authors


Joshua Pippin Frostburg State University

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Joshua Pippin is an honor student at Frostburg State University. He is a Mechanical Engineering student in the Collaborative Engineering Program with the University of Maryland at College Park.

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Julie Wang Frostburg State University

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Julie Wang is an Assistant Professor of Department of Physics/Engineering at Frostburg State Univeresity, Frostburg, MD 21532

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Research and Design on Wind Turbines

Joshua Pippin and Julie Wang Frostburg State University


Since the need for alternate power sources is becoming more prevalent with each new day, a decision was made to work on the research and design for a laboratory-scale wind turbine as an undergraduate research project. As such, the main goal of the project was to create advancements in wind power technologies. The objective of this research was to design and build a wind turbine for experimental tests. Two different wind turbine blades are tested on the model of the wind turbine. These results will further research that can help develop less expensive and smaller turbines that can be used in homes and farms.


The challenge for this research project was to understand the relationship of wind to its impact on turbine performance and reliability. This was done by designing and building a laboratory-scale model of a wind turbine. The wind turbine was tested in a 24” open circuit wind tunnel. Then the data was collected and analyzed to predict aerodynamic loads on turbines under varied inflow conditions and understand the specific behavior of small wind turbines. Based on the optimum parameters studies, the design of the turbine blades can be improved to increase energy capture.

The research has also taken a comprehensive look at what has already been accomplished in wind power technologies. The mathematical models that guide the principles of wind power will be investigated. The equation P = 0.5ρAv3, as an example, gives the possible wind power within a certain cross sectional area, and the velocity, a cubed variable, is especially important to the design of windmills. The research will also review the varied existing designs of windmills for their strengths and weaknesses. This comparison will find what designs are suited for what applications.


There are two main classes of wind turbines: horizontal axis and vertical axis. The wind turbines seen in today’s wind farms with the rotating blades atop a tower are called horizontal axis wind turbines because their blades rotate about a horizontal axis. The other type of windmill, the vertical axis wind turbine, has blades or paddles that rotate around the axis of the tower that supports it. Often these windmills look like gigantic eggbeaters.

Vertical axis wind turbines

Pippin, J., & Wang, J. (2008, June), Research And Design On Wind Turbines Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3966

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