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Energies 2015, 8(4), 3013-3033; doi:10.3390/en8043013

3D CFD Analysis of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Kore University of Enna, Cittadella Universitaria, 94100 Enna, Italy
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Academic Editor: Frede Blaabjerg
Received: 16 January 2015 / Revised: 1 April 2015 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
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Abstract

To analyze the complex and unsteady aerodynamic flow associated with wind turbine functioning, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an attractive and powerful method. In this work, the influence of different numerical aspects on the accuracy of simulating a rotating wind turbine is studied. In particular, the effects of mesh size and structure, time step and rotational velocity have been taken into account for simulation of different wind turbine geometries. The applicative goal of this study is the comparison of the performance between a straight blade vertical axis wind turbine and a helical blade one. Analyses are carried out through the use of computational fluid dynamic ANSYS® Fluent® software, solving the Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) equations. At first, two-dimensional simulations are used in a preliminary setup of the numerical procedure and to compute approximated performance parameters, namely the torque, power, lift and drag coefficients. Then, three-dimensional simulations are carried out with the aim of an accurate determination of the differences in the complex aerodynamic flow associated with the straight and the helical blade turbines. Static and dynamic results are then reported for different values of rotational speed. View Full-Text
Keywords: computational fluid dynamics (CFD); vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT); straight blade; helical blade computational fluid dynamics (CFD); vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT); straight blade; helical blade
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alaimo, A.; Esposito, A.; Messineo, A.; Orlando, C.; Tumino, D. 3D CFD Analysis of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Energies 2015, 8, 3013-3033.

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