Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/175
Date of Award
MS in Mechanical Engineering
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s first wind turbine explores the methods and processes that are employed to manufacture utility scale wind turbines, and applies them to small scale wind turbines. The primary objective is to promote the development of small scale wind turbine blades in ways that resemble, as closely as possible, the construction and methods of utility scale turbine blade manufacturing. Vacuum infusion is employed to create a hollow, multi piece, lightweight design using carbon fiber and fiberglass with an epoxy based resin. A “rapid prototyping” method is developed using high density foam molds that allows short cycle time between design iterations of aerodynamic planforms. A production run of eight blades is manufactured and key components of the blade are tested to determine the appropriateness of the design.