Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Yi-Tung Chen

Second Committee Member

Hui Zhao

Third Committee Member

William Culbreth

Fourth Committee Member

Jichun Li

Number of Pages



Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, there has never been more of a constant in the world than that of the demand for energy. For years a stable source has been fossil fuels, but with the growing impacts of global warming, it is important to look for renewable sources. Wind energy’s use has become more and more prevalent throughout the world.

This preliminary work runs through the creation of a three-dimensional numerical model of a conventional wind turbine that was created using ANSYS-Fluent© commercial software. This work provides the base wind turbine and a blade element and momentum theory (BEMT) based MATLAB© code that can create the blade coordinates if the wind turbine design is modified. The numerical simulations created in this work are compared with the results of the bare wind turbine simulations and the experimental power generation data obtained from (Ohya et al., 2008). The geometry consists of a large one-third cylindrical enclosure with an interior rotating mesh around the turbine blade with periodic boundary conditions on either side. The torque of the blade can be calculated and compared to the original experimental power production values. Three comparison speeds are chosen; four, six, and eight meters per second based on physical data available. In experiments done on a bare wind turbine, the power values compare very well to the expected results from the research group from Japan. For 4, 6, and 8 m/s wind speeds, the percent differences in power production between the actual results and numerical results were 0.81%, 3.39%, and 5.23% different respectively. The values produced numerically were all higher than the experimental data, which should be the case because general wind turbine losses that are briefly introduced in Section 1.3 are not considered in this study.

It is the hope that this work will be continued further by having another researcher to work on a shrouded numerical model by benchmarking it according to the experimental flanged diffuser results from a research team in Japan that performed many experiments regarding shrouding on wind turbines. It is the hope that shrouding is added because adding a shroud to a normal wind turbine can almost quintuple power production compared standard wind turbines (Ohya et al., 2008).


Axial; Blade Element and Momentum Theory; Wind Turbine


Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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