This work presents an optimized design of a dynamic rotor vertical-axis wind turbine (DR VAWT) which maximizes the operational tip-speed ratio (TSR) range and the average power coefficient (Cp
) value while maintaining a low cut-in wind velocity. The DR VAWT is capable of mimicking a Savonius rotor during the start-up phase and transitioning into a Darrieus one with increasing rotor radius at higher TSRs. The design exploits the fact that with increasing rotor radius, the TSR value increases, where the peak power coefficient is attained. A 2.5D improved delayed detached eddy simulation (IDDES) approach was adopted in order to optimize the dynamic rotor design, where results showed that the generated blades’ trajectories can be readily replicated by simple mechanisms in reality. A thorough sensitivity analysis was conducted on the generated optimized blades’ trajectories, where results showed that they were insensitive to values of the Reynolds number. The performance of the DR VAWT turbine with its blades following different trajectories was contrasted with the optimized turbine, where the influence of the blade pitch angle was highlighted. Moreover, a cross comparison between the performance of the proposed design and that of the hybrid Savonius–Darrieus one found in the literature was carefully made. Finally, the effect of airfoil thickness on the performance of the optimized DR VAWT was thoroughly analyzed.
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