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The 6th International Congress Design and Modelling of Mechanical Systems CMSM’2015

Parametric Study of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine


Laboratoire de Systèmes et de Mécanique Appliquée (LASMAP), Ecole Polytechnique de Tunisie
(EPT), Université de Carthage, La Marsa, Tunisie.
Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis, Université d’El-Manar, Tunis, Tunisie

Abstract – In this work, the effect of a number of design parameters on the performances of a
Darrieus type vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) is studied. A CFD model of the turbine is built using
the commercial software "Ansys-Fluent". The geometry of the VAWT and the imposed boundary
conditions are introduced in a completely parameterized way. The air flow around the turbine is
considered viscous, unsteady, turbulent and incompressible. The k- turbulence model is adopted for
the resolution of the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations. The comparison of simulation
results with experimental data taken from the literature shows a good agreement between them.

Keywords: vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), CFD model, parametric study, Darrieus type.

1 Introduction blades whose cross section is in the shape of a

NACA four-digit profile.
The Darrieus-type VAWT is distinguished by its The model of the VAWT built in this work is
simplicity, relatively low manufacturing cost and distinguished by the fact that it is completely
the ability to install it everywhere. It also has the parameterized, ie all of the model properties,
feature to function regardless the wind direction. including geometry, mesh and boundary conditions,
All these advantages have led many researchers are all dependent on a finite number of parameters
[1,2] to study this type of wind turbine in order of listed in Table 1 below. This allows us, thereafter,
mastering its operating principle and analyze the to carry out a shape optimization of the wind
influence of different design parameters on its turbine blades, by using a one of the different
performance. The three major models used for the optimization algorithms offered by "ANSYS."
prediction of VAWT performance include The computational domain occupied by the air is
momentum models, vortex model, and considered rectangular with large dimensions
computational fluid dynamics (CFD) [3]. CFD is a compared with the diameter of the turbine (higher
tool that is increasingly used in the field of fluid than 4 times the diameter) so that we can consider
flow analysis for the analytical capacity that is able that the speed of the air on the edges is not affected
to supply and its relatively low cost in comparison by the turbine rotation. A circle encompassing the
the experimental tests on real models. wind turbine partitions the computational domain
In the present work, we aim to use this tool for the into two zones so that we can create a rotating mesh
implementation of a numerical model of a vertical on the inside zone to follow the rotation of the
axis wind turbine (VAWT). Because the blade blades.
geometry is perfectly straight in the vertical A finer mesh is considered for the inside area of the
direction, a 2D model of the VAWT is considered circle and a much finer one is placed around the
and consequently the edge effect is neglected. This profiles of blades to consider the boundary layer
model is performed using the commercial software effect. Figure 1 presents the geometry and mesh of
"ANSYS-Fluent" which is based on the finite the VAWT CFD model.
volume method widely used in the field of No slip is considered between the air and the blades
computational fluid dynamics. surfaces (viscous flow). On the input edge and on
both lateral side edges of the computational
2 Methods domain, the velocity is assumed to be equal to the
wind velocity V. On the outlet edge, the pressure
The Darrieus type vertical axis wind turbine,
is made equal to atmospheric pressure.
subject of this study, consists of a four straight

Hammamet, 23-25 March 2015, Tunisia 1

The 6th International Congress Design and Modelling of Mechanical Systems CMSM’2015
The air flow around the wind turbine is considered type vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). A
unsteady, incompressible and viscous. The completely parameterized CFD model is conducted
assumption of incompressibility is valid since the by using the commercial softwere "Ansys-Fluent".
speed of the air flow is relatively low (less than 0.3 The comparison of simulation results with
Mach). In addition, it is considered that the flow is experimental data taken from the literature shows
turbulent (Re≈0.25 105 [4]) and the k- turbulence good agreement between them.
model is adopted for the resolution of the Reynolds
Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations.
Table 1. Design parameters of the VAWT
Parameter Description
C Chord length
m Maximum camber in% of chord
p Position of the maximum camber
in % of chord length
e Maximum thickness of the blade in
% of chord length
n Number of blades
 Pitch angle
R Turbine radius Figure 2. Pitch angle influence on the power
h Height of the blades coefficient of the VAWT
V Wind velocity
 Rotational speed

Figure 3. Changes in the distribution of pressure

around the turbine blades during rotation
5 References
[1] M. A. Biadgo, A. Simonović, D. Komarov & S.
Stupar, Numerical and analytical investigation of
vertical axis wind turbine. FME Transactions,41(1)
Figure 1. Geometry and mesh of the VAWT CFD (2013), 49-58.
model. [2] Y. LEE, Wind turbine simulation for time-
dependent angular velocity, torque, and power.
3 Results International Journal of Engineering Science &
Technology, 5(2) (2013).
Several simulations have been considered in which
[3] M. Islam, D.K.Ting and A. Fartaj,
is determined the influence of changes of certain
Aerodynamic models for Darrieus-type straight-
design parameters of the wind turbine on its
bladed vertical axis wind turbines, Renew and
performances as its torque coefficient Ct and its
Sustain Energy Reviews, 12, 4 (2008) 1087-1109.
power coefficient Cp. To validate the model,
[4] P. Sabaeifard, H. Razzaghi & A. Forouzandeh,
simulation results are compared with experimental
Determination of vertical axis wind turbines
data recently published by El-Samanoudy et al. [5]
optimal configuration through CFD simulations,
(figure 2). Figure 3 illustrates the evolution of the
International Conference on Future Environment
pressur distribution during the rotation of the
and Energy IPCBEE (volume 28) IACSIT Press,
Singapoore 2012.
4 Conclusion [5] M. El-Samanoudy, A. A. E. Ghorab & S. Z.
Youssef, Effect of some design parameters on the
In this work, we studied the effect of a number of performance of a Giromill vertical axis wind
design parameters on the performance of a Darrieus turbine. Ain Shams Engineering Journal, 1,
1(2010), 85-95.

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