Flow modulation by a mushroom-like coating around the separation region of a wind-turbine airfoil section

Ali Doosttalab, Suranga Dharmarathne, Humberto Bocanegra Evans, Ali M. Hamed, Serdar Gorumlu, Burak Aksak, Leonardo P. Chamorro, Murat Tutkun, Luciano Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flow over a mushroom-shaped microscale coating was experimentally inspected over a diverging channel that followed the pressure side of a wind turbine blade (S835). High-resolution particle image velocimetry was used to obtain in-plane velocity measurements in a refractive-index-matching flume at Reynolds number Reθ ≈ 1200 based on the momentum thickness. The results show that the evolution of the boundary layer thickness, displacement thickness, and shape factor change with the coating, contrary to the expected behavior of an adverse pressure gradient boundary layer over a canonical rough surface. Comparison of the flow with that over a smooth wall revealed that the turbulence production exhibited similar levels in both cases, suggesting that the coating does not behave like a typical rough wall, which increases the Reynolds stresses. Proper orthogonal decomposition was used to decompose the velocity field to investigate the possible structural changes introduced by the wall region. It suggests that large-scale motions in the wall region lead to high-momentum flow over the coated case compared to the smooth counterpart. This unique behavior of this surface coating can be useful in wind-turbine applications, with great potential to increase the power production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043305
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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