Three-dimensional and rotational viscous effects on wind turbine blades are investigated by means of a quasi-3D Navier-Stokes model. The governing equations of the model are derived from the 3-D primitive variable Navier-Stokes equations written in cylindrical coordinates in the rotating frame of reference. The latter are integrated along the radial direction and certain assumptions are made for the mean values of the radial derivatives. The validity of these assumptions is cross-checked through fully 3-D Navier-Stokes calculations. The resulting quasi-3D model suggests that three-dimensional and rotational effects be strongly related to the local chord by radii ratio and the twist angle. The equations of the model are numerically integrated by means of a pressure correction algorithm. Both laminar and turbulent flow simulations are performed. The former is used for identifying the physical mechanism associated with the 3-D and rotational effects, while the latter for establishing semiempirical correction laws for the load coefficients, based on 2-D airfoil data. Comparing calculated and measured power curves of a stall controlled wind turbine, it is shown that the suggested correction laws may improve significantly the accuracy of the predictions. [S0098-2202(00)02702-4]

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