Aerodynamics Study of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines using the Actuator Line Approach
Experimental and theoretical works have been carried out for the field of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT). A simpler design, low cost of maintenance and the ability to accept flow from all directions perpendicular to the rotor axis are some of the most relevant advantages compared to the conventional Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT). Obtained experimental data will be used for the validation and design of computational models and will also enable design of functional prototypes of VAWT for more efficient energy extraction. The project is related to wind turbines aerodynamics and renewable energy production. The project involves both experimental and theoretical research related to the understanding of the complex and unsteady fluid dynamics inherently involved on the VAWT operating conditions. Moreover, VAWT blades are exposed to cyclic variation in the angle of attack, which gives cyclic blade forces and can give material fatigue damage. Accurate modeling of the varying forces is therefore very important for the design of the VAWT, related to the efficiency and lifetime of the device. The most relevant goals are to calculate the force distribution on the VAWT and to characterize the flow around the turbine and its wake, which later can be used for turbine farms.