A recent research project has been focused on the design, manufacture, and testing of novel, vertical-axis turbines which can be directly attached to existing structures (such as communication towers) for local power generation, particularly in areas of the world where grid-connected electricity is unavailable. The proposed turbine has undergone a multitude of design stages, including the wing design, prototype fabrication, wind-tunnel testing, and manufacture. This report discusses the initial design process utilized to create the turbine wing. That process relied upon numerical simulations of the unsteady flow patterns which occur when the wing rotates. Results from the simulation were used to modify the wing design and significant improvements in performance were realized. Based on wind-tunnel tests, improvements on the order of 300% were obtained, compared to the initial design. Improvements of this magnitude have allowed the progression from prototype testing to large-scale manufacturing. The simulations allowed the implementation of novel design features such as preferentially deployed vents which allowed an increase of torque and a decrease of transverse loads. Results from the simulation were compared with experimental results obtained from a wind-tunnel test. In addition, data was extracted from an in situ test facility which was installed with wind-speed and data acquisition equipment. It was found that the results of the simulation were in close agreement with both the results from the wind tunnel and the in situ tests. The congruence gave added confidence to the veracity of the simulations.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
Numerical Simulations of Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Blades
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Plourde, BD, Abraham, JP, Mowry, GS, & Minkowycz, WJ. "Numerical Simulations of Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Blades." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability. ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A, B, and C. Washington, DC, USA. August 7–10, 2011. pp. 2167-2174. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2011-54602
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