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Energies 2013, 6(6), 2741-2758; doi:10.3390/en6062741

Turbulent Flow Characteristics and Dynamics Response of a Vertical-Axis Spiral Rotor

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
Department of Mechanics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 March 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Turbines)
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The concept of a vertical-axis spiral wind rotor is proposed and implemented in the interest of adapting it to air flows from all directions and improving the rotor’s performance. A comparative study is performed between the proposed rotor and conventional Savonius rotor. Turbulent flow features near the rotor blades are simulated with Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model. The torque coefficient of the proposed rotor is satisfactory in terms of its magnitude and variation through the rotational cycle. Along the height of the rotor, distinct spatial turbulent flow patterns vary with the upstream air velocity. Subsequent experiments involving a disk generator gives an in-depth understanding of the dynamic response of the proposed rotor under different operation conditions. The optimal tip-speed ratio of the spiral rotor is 0.4–0.5, as is shown in both simulation and experiment. Under normal and relative-motion flow conditions, and within the range of upstream air velocity from 1 to 12 m/s, the output voltage of the generator was monitored and statistically analyzed. It was found that normal air velocity fluctuations lead to a non-synchronous correspondence between upstream air velocity and output voltage. In contrast, the spiral rotor’s performance when operating from the back of a moving truck was significantly different to its performance under the natural conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: spiral wind rotor; numerical simulation; turbulent flow pattern; dynamic response; experiment spiral wind rotor; numerical simulation; turbulent flow pattern; dynamic response; experiment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kang, C.; Yang, X.; Wang, Y. Turbulent Flow Characteristics and Dynamics Response of a Vertical-Axis Spiral Rotor. Energies 2013, 6, 2741-2758.

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