The flow behind a model of a wind turbine rotor is investigated experimentally in a water flume using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and laser Doppler anemometry (LDA). The study performed involves a three-bladed wind turbine rotor designed using the optimization technique of Glauert (Aerodynamic Theory, vol. IV, 1935, pp. 169–360). The wake properties are studied for different tip speed ratios and free stream speeds. The data for the various rotor regimes show the existence of a regular Strouhal number associated with the development of an instability in the far wake of the rotor. From visualizations and a reconstruction of the flow field using LDA and PIV measurements it is found that the wake dynamics is associated with a precession (rotation) of the helical vortex core.
Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2014, Vol 747, p. 369-380