Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

James E. Smith.


Circulation control is an established method for increasing lift on an airfoil-shaped body. Previous research has focused on the application of circulation control to fixed-wing aircraft as well as rotorcraft; ongoing research at the Center for Industrial Research Applications (CIRA) involves the application of circulation control to vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT). Due to size and response time constraints, one of the key technical hurdles of this application that must be overcome is the valve mechanism for controlling the airflow out of the blowing slots. A valve design consisting of a slotted, sliding gate mated to a slotted, fixed surface within the wind turbine blade is presented. The sliding gate is actuated via a solenoid, forcing the slots into alignment and allowing air to flow freely; the gate is returned via spring, forcing the slots out of alignment and preventing the flow of air. The design was modeled with CAD software and the dynamics of the system were modeled with Simulink. An experimental apparatus was fabricated to test this design, and the valve met all of the design specifications with the exception of the leakage rate. Recommendations are made in order to remedy this problem.