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Our Projects

Wind-Energy Generation by Active Flow Control

We have developed a novel wind-energy generator that is driven by active flow control. To achieve this, flow-control-induced oscillations were forced by dynamic boundary layer separation and attachment using plasma actuators. Proof-of-concept wind tunnel experiments were performed on a one-degree-of-freedom sting-mounted, pivoted cylindrical body where pulsed dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators were used to control separation...            


Active Flow Control in Axial Fans 

Axial fans are a basic component in most industrial ventilation and cooling systems. Although they are designed to operate at optimal conditions, they often operate under adverse conditions resulting in fan stall that accounts for approximately 25% of industry losses. Fan stall is a cyclic phenomenon that may result in fatigue crack formation and, if the system surges, the fan may fail mechanically...


High Pressure Vertical Axis Wind Pump for Desalination and Irrigation 

A novel positive displacement, high pressure, vertical axis wind pump (HP-VAWP) is evaluated for the application of stand-alone high-pressure reverse-osmosis desalination and drip irrigation systems.


Dynamic Stall Driven Wind Turbine

Dynamic stall is exploited to produce positive torque on a large-chord/radius-ratio (c/R) vertical-axis wind turbine. The phase shift allows dynamic lift-overshoot effects associated with the formation of a dynamic stall vortex to drive the turbine when the relative dynamic pressure is high, whereas lift stall associated with shedding of the vortex occurs when the relative dynamic pressure is low.


Past Projects

Unique Wing-Pitching Test Section 
Plasma-Based Dynamic Stall Control on a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine 

Airfoils or wings models are mounted within a test section that facilitates rotation to produce pitch or a combination of pitch and plunge. The models are mounted on one or both Plexiglas windows that are connected to aluminum rings. Each ring runs on a system of four bearings and is driven by a 1.5kW servo-motor via a system of belt drives to produce a 150:1 gear ratio. Measured deviations in angle-of-attack resulting from the dynamically varying mechanical... 



We have succeeded in controlling dynamic stall on a double-bladed vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) model using pulsed dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators. The azimuthal angles of plasma actuation initiation and termination, that produced the largest increases in power, were determined parametrically on the upstream half of the turbine azimuth. Experiments were performed in our low-speed wind tunnel at speeds of 5-7m/s...


Unsteady Low-Speed Wind Tunnel

Much of our research is aimed at unsteady aerodynamics and thus we built a dedicated unsteady tunnel. Equations governing the unsteady flow response and the acoustics were used to down-select the variable-geometry open-return blow-down configuration seen here. Convention was reversed by designing for unsteady flow – with flows speeds between ~0m/s and 55m/s – while leaving a steady-flow option available...


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