An experimental study on the effects of winglets on the wake and performance of a modelwind turbine

Nicolas Tobin, Ali M. Hamed, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wind tunnel experiments were performed to investigate the effects of downstream-facing winglets on the wake dynamics, power and thrust of a model wind turbine. Two similar turbines with and without winglets were operated under the same conditions. Results show an increase in the power and thrust coefficients of 8.2% and 15.0% for the wingletted case. A simple theoretical treatment of a two-turbine system suggests a possible positive tradeoffbetween increasing power and thrust coefficients at a wind farm scale. The higher thrust coefficient created a region of enhanced mean shear and turbulence in the outer portion of the wake. The winglets did not significantly change the tip-vortex strength, but higher levels of turbulence in the far wake decreased the tip-vortex strength. Because of the increased mean shear in the wingletted turbine's wake, the Reynolds stresses were higher, potentially leading to a higher energy flux downstream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11955-11972
Number of pages18
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2015


  • Tip vortices
  • Turbulent wake
  • Wind energy
  • Wind turbine
  • Winglet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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