Accurate prediction of both the center of thrust location and the magnitude of the thrust on a rotor disk are critical to satisfactory modeling of the yawing of small wind turbines to large angles to passively control overshoots in power and loads at higher wind speeds. Of the two, the prediction of the center of thrust location upwind of the center of a yawed rotor disk appears to be the most uncertain and potentially in serious error. This error is due to uncertainties in skewed wake effects on the thrust distribution on the disk. Three skewed wake models are examined to better understand the potential sources of error. First is the dynamic inflow model originally developed for helicopters, and second is a modification of this model developed for wind turbines. Third is an earlier cylindrical vortex wake model which pioneered the study of skewed wake effects for helicopters, and which can be generalized for wind turbine applications. It is concluded that this generalized model and the original dynamic inflow model are the most promising for small wind turbine applications, and their predictions of center of thrust and blade root moments are compared for an idealized rotor. The focus is on static equilibrium loads, and note is taken of the potential importance of accounting for expanding wake effects. The basic results of the study are applicable to large as well as small wind turbine rotors.

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