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Experimental and Numerical Investigations on Drag and Torque Characteristics of Three-Bladed Savonius Wind Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Mosfequr Rahman, Khandakar N. Morshed, Jeffery Lewis, Mark Fuller

Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Paper No. IMECE2009-10838, pp. 85-94; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Emerging Technologies: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4379-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


With the growing demand of energy worldwide, conventional energy is becoming more and more scarce and expensive. The United States is already facing an energy crunch as the fuel price soars. Therefore, there is an obvious need for alternative sources of energy—perhaps more than ever. Wind is among the most popular and fastest-growing forms of electricity generation in the world, which is pollution free and available almost at any time of the day, especially in the coastal regions. The main attraction of the vertical-axis wind turbine is its manufacturing simplicity compared to that of the horizontal-axis wind turbine. Among all different vertical axis wind turbines, Savonius wind turbine is the simplest one. Operation of the Savonius wind turbine is based on the difference of the drag force on its semi-spherical blades, depending on whether the wind is striking the convex or the concave part of the blades. The advantage of this type of wind turbine is its good self-starting and wind directional independence characteristic. It, however, has a relatively lower efficiency in comparison with the lift type vertical-axis wind turbines. Due to its simple design and low construction cost, Savonius rotors are primarily used for water pumping and wind power on a small scale. The main objective of this ongoing research work is to improve the aerodynamic performance of vertical axis Savonius wind turbine. Wind tunnel investigation has been performed on aerodynamic characteristics, such as drag coefficients, and static torque coefficient of three-bladed Savonius rotor model. Also the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has been performed using FLUENT software to analyze the static rotor aerodynamics such as drag coefficients and torque coefficient, and these results are compared with the corresponding experimental results for verification.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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