Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Student Aaron Kummer ‘22 recently presented his research on small wind turbines at TORQUE2020, an international wind energy conference.
Kummer presented his paper, "On the Use of Cambered Plate Airfoils for Small Wind Turbines," which was also published by IOP publishing in Journal of Physics: Conference Series Volume 1618, Issue 4.
“This paper focuses on how a cambered plate airfoil, which is an airfoil of uniform thickness and not widely used, can be used on small wind turbines,” Kummer said. “The researchers in the lab I work in have worked with these airfoils for the blades on our ducted turbine for quite some time, and my paper/presentation elaborates on why and how we are using these airfoils to maximize energy production for the turbine while minimizing production cost.”
TORQUE2020 is an online event facilitated by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) for EAWE, a non-profit organization governed by Europe’s leading universities and research institutes on wind energy. Kummer attended the event virtually after originally planning to attend the event in person in the Netherlands in May.
“Having the opportunity to present at an international wind turbine research conference has been absolutely astounding. During the one-week virtual conference I met and listened to dozens of professional researchers in the wind turbine industry, and broadened my understanding of the field of wind turbine research,” Kummer said. “Unfortunately I was not able to go to TU Delft, The Netherlands this summer due to COVID restrictions, but the virtual conference was still an experience I will likely never forget. I am so thankful to Prof. Visser and everyone who has helped with my research because their help led to such an eye-opening opportunity.”
Kummer became involved in research with Associate Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Professor Kenneth Visser in January 2019. He said his desire to conduct research outside of his engineering curriculum led him to the opportunity.
“I wanted to solve problems that haven't been solved before, and that's what Prof. Visser has encouraged me to do,” Kummer said. “I am a double major in both Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and I found that Prof. Visser's wind turbine research uses many aspects from both fields of engineering, and combines them into one evolving wind turbine.”
After working with Michael Valleau ‘20, Jack DiMeo ‘23, graduate students Benjamin Kanya and Daniel Valyou, and Machinist Mark Hebel to learn about the field and develop the research he presented at TORQUE2020, Kummer said he is set to continue his work with DiMeo.
“Now that my research has validated the use of cambered plate airfoils, the next step for Jack and I is to find an airfoil geometry that has a higher lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) than the airfoil we currently use on the wind turbine: the goe417a,” Kummer said. “We will do this by using Matlab, as well as software for aerodynamic analyses of the airfoils we generate, such as XFoil and FLUENT.”
Kummer said he plans to finish his undergraduate degree and seek a position in the field of aeronautics or green energy. He also plans to pursue a Masters Degree that will help strengthen his educational foundation for a long-term career.
“My experience at Clarkson opened up opportunities for me to pursue undergraduate research while completing two degrees,” Kummer said. “Clarkson students and staff have pushed me to places that I never thought I would go in high school.”
Kummer’s research can be viewed at this link: https://bit.ly/30WSAUH