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Andrew Miller

Optimizing Turbine Blade Efficiency by Manipulating
Boundary Layer Separation

Elon, NC
Grade: 12

Miller

Optimizing Turbine Blade Efficiency by Manipulating Boundary Layer Separation

Andrew Miller's experiment was to improve wind turbine performance by applying protuberances to turbine blades. Andrew did his testing in a homemade wind tunnel to determine the best configuration of placing protuberances on a 22" propeller blade. The optimum configuration was then field tested on a downwind, horizontal 1.9 kw turbine, the Skystream 3.7. The results indicated that placing protuberances on the leeward side of a mid-size wind turbine blade can significantly improve power output at low to moderate wind speeds. This invention is valuable not only because it improves the performance of home turbines, but also because it is easy to retrofit currently existing wind turbines.

 

   
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 We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation for the National Gallery of America's Young Inventors, 1999-2006

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The National Gallery for America's Young Inventors ™ is the only nationally recognized hall of fame for student inventors, established in 1993 and given permission by the adult National Inventors Hall of Fame Board in Washington, D.C. to archive and enshrine great student inventions and inventors K-12.


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