Faculty Advisor

Hall, John R

Faculty Advisor

Planchard, David Clifton


Currently, it is difficult to determine wind speed or power output for a proposed wind turbine without on-site wind speed data and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis software. Our Major Qualifying Project is to analyze the results from SolidWorks’s Flow Simulation package and the data that was collected from a custom designed and manufactured wind turbine test rig. To do this, air was rotated through modeled wind turbine blades in the CFD simulations. We found there is a constant ratio between the slopes of the free-spinning and max power RPM trend lines of the blades. On-site, an anemometer collected local wind speeds while a free spinning wind turbine test rig measured the RPM. We found that a lighter wind turbine is more efficient because of a faster spool up time.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2018


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering