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Hi-Q Rotor
Advanced, Low-Wind Speed Turbine

The Hi-Q Rotor is an unconventional horizontal axis wind blade developed by Hi-Q Products, Inc. The original investigation of the Hi-Q Rotor, undertaken with assistance from a PIER Grant provided by the State of California, was completed September 2006.  In this study, fundamental data on the aerodynamic properties of the experimental Hi-Q Rotor was collected by DARcorporation of Lawrence Kansas. Designs were created in Unigraphics AeroCAD, and data was analyzed using Computational Fluid Design (CFD) software. Testing with three prototypes was conducted in the wind tunnel at the University of Kansas. Data collected on the performance of the Hi-Q Rotor was measured at variable wind speeds and then compared to an equivalent state-of-the art windmill rotor.

Follow on funding from the Department of Energy’s Inventions & Innovations Program provided further development to create a full-scale prototype of the Hi-Q Rotor. Blade Element Momentum (BEM) methods were adopted to analyze this design. The methods were programmed and an in-house code was developed by DARcorporation to analyze the performance of the wind turbine. A series of case studies were conducted with varying geometric parameters of the wind blade. The performance in each case was carefully studied and the Hi-Q Rotor design was optimized. From this investigation, an optimized design was determined, and plans began to build an 8-foot diameter full-scale rotor.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) cases were simulated to verify the BEM code that was developed. There was good correlation between the results of the BEM code and CFD. Separate CFD cases were analyzed to extract the loads acting on the blades. These loads were used in the structural analysis of the blades.


Finite Element models were created to analyze the Hi-Q Wind Turbine blades. Lay-up schedules for the composite blades were determined based on the loads extracted from the CFD simulations. The Hi-Q Wind Turbine blades were fabricated by DARcorporation engineers at DARWorks. The blades are made out of carbon fiber and the lay-up schedules were based on the Finite Element analysis.


When fabrication was complete, the Hi-Q Rotor was tested against a state-of-the-art low-wind speed turbine at the Alternative Energy Institute’s Wind Test Center at West Texas A&M University. Tests are complete and reporting data is currently being compiled after which Hi-Q Products will continue development and optimization for commercial manufacturing.


For more information contact Judy or Todd at 626-308-4400 or write us at info@hiqproducts.com






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