Numerical analysis of a vertical-axis water turbine

SNIC 2018/7-46


SNAC Small

Principal Investigator:

Minh Thao Nguyen


Uppsala universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

20304: Energy Engineering



The project will perform studies on a vertical-axis water turbine (VAWT) by using OpenFOAM. A prototype of the VAWT with 7.5 kW rated power designed by Marine Current research group at Uppsala University has been deployed in Söderfors. The VAWT can work with water flow from any direction without the need of a yawing mechanism which reduces the risk of failures and simplifies the installation. With the advancement of the VAWT’s concept, we need reliable simulation tools to analyses the physical quantities. Important parameters are the velocity field to see effect the turbine wake and tower and to determine the incoming flow on the hydrofoils, and also the blade forces, which determines the loads on the structure and the power generated by the turbine. Accurate modeling of the turbine in is therefore crucial to understand which aerodynamic phenomena can be correlated to the experimental trends. CFD calculations in three dimensions can provide further details of unsteady nature of the interactions within the turbine. This will not have been possible without access to high-performance computing (HPC) resources like SNIC. We hope the results can lead to improved turbine performance and reliability.