This paper presents the performance of a horizontal axis wind turbine of diameter 0.6 m designed to operate at low Reynolds number. In this design work, the SD2030 thin airfoil was selected as a profile section for the turbine blades. The taper ratio, section twist angle and blade angle were optimized using the Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory. In a numerical investigation, the aerodynamic flow field was computed using the two-dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations for incompressible flow to predict the performance of the airfoil at the Reynolds number of 1 x 105. The numerical results obtained were in accordance with the wind tunnel test’s result and thus validating this Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) works. Results depict that this new turbine design with the airfoil of SD2030 can rotate at a low start-up wind speed of 2.4 m/s, testifying that the design is successful, and that the turbine is capable to operate at low Reynolds number such as 1 x 105 with the desired output.
Keywords: Low Reynolds Number Airfoil, Wind Turbine Aerodynamics, CFD, Wind Tunnel Test.