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Detailed Analysis of the Wake Structure of a Straight-Blade H-Darrieus Wind Turbine by Means of Wind Tunnel Experiments and CFD Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Alessandro Bianchini, Francesco Balduzzi, Giovanni Ferrara

University of Firenze, Firenze, Italy

Lorenzo Ferrari

Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Giacomo Persico, Vincenzo Dossena

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

Lorenzo Battisti

Università di Trento, Trento, Italy

Paper No. GT2017-64733, pp. V009T49A018; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Oil and Gas Applications; Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles; Wind Energy
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5096-1
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Darrieus Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) have been recently identified as the most promising solution for new types of applications, such as small-scale installations in complex terrains or offshore large floating platforms. To improve their efficiencies further and make them competitive with those of conventional horizontal axis wind turbines, a more in depth understanding of the physical phenomena that govern the aerodynamics past a rotating Darrieus turbine is needed. Within this context, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can play a fundamental role, since it represents the only model able to provide a detailed and comprehensive representation of the flow. Due to the complexity of similar simulations, however, the possibility of having reliable and detailed experimental data to be used as validation test cases is pivotal to tune the numerical tools.

In this study, a two-dimensional U-RANS computational model was applied to analyze the wake characteristics on the mid plane of a small-size H-shaped Darrieus VAWT. The turbine was tested in a large-scale, open-jet wind tunnel, including both performance and wake measurements. Thanks to the availability of such a unique set of experimental data, systematic comparisons between simulations and experiments were carried out analyzing the structure of the wake, and correlating the main macro-structures of the flow to the local aerodynamic features of the airfoils in cycloidal motion. In general, good agreement on the turbine performance estimation was constantly appreciated.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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