STAND ALONE MICRO WIND ELECTRIC

GENERATOR
A PROJECT REPORT
submitted by
AM 105 ME 072 LINKESH DIWAN
In partial fulfillment for the award of the degree
of
BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY
IN
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
AMRITA SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
AMRITA VISHWA VIDYAPEETHAM
AMRITAPURI, 690 525
May 2010
Dedicated to Truth. . .
and to my Sister,
who abides in Truth.
AMRITA VISHWA VIDYAPEETHAM
AMRITA SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING,
AMRITAPURI, 690 525
BONAFIDE CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that the project report entitled “Stand Alone Mi-
cro Wind Electric Generator” submitted by Linkesh Diwan (AM 105 ME
072) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of
“Bachelor of Technology” in MECHANICAL ENGINEERING is a
bonafide record of the work carried out under my (our) guidance and supervi-
sion at Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri.
SIGNATURE
Joshua D. Freeman
SUPERVISOR
Assistant Professor
DepartmentofElectrical&ElectronicsEngineering
Dr. Balakrishnan Shankar (Date)
This project was evaluated by us on (date):
EXAMINER
AMRITA VISHWA VIDYAPEETHAM
AMRITA SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING,
AMRITAPURI, 690 525
Department of Mechanical Engineering
DECLARATION
I, Linkesh Diwan (Registered Number AM 105 ME 072) hereby declare that
this project report, entitled “Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator” is a
record of the original work done by me under the guidance of Joshua D. Free-
man, Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Amrita School of
Engineering, Amritapuri, and that this work has not formed the basis for the
award of any degree / diploma / associatship / fellowship or similar award, to
any candidate in any university, to the best of my knowledge.
Place: Signature of Student
Date:
COUNTERSIGNED
Joshua D. Freeman
SUPERVISOR
Assistant Professor
DepartmentofElectrical&
ElectronicsEngineering
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First and foremost, I wish to thank my Mother, Dr. P. Kamala Willey. With-
out her support and encouragement, I would not have undertaken such a chal-
lenging project, and without her practical wisdom, I would not have finished
it.
My heart’s love and gratitude is due to Holy Mother Amma, in who’s
auspices I have been priviledged and honoured to grow up. Her teachings
and presence have shaped my life; I pray to be worthy of Her grace, already
bestowed.
I also thank my Uncle, who provided me with Internationally Accepted
Social and Business Lubricant, also known as money, today so necessary for
any undertaking.
Thanks are due to many people whom I have not yet had the priviledge
of meeting, in particular Dan Fink of U.S.A., and Andr´e Espaze of France.
Both have been rich resources of assistance, experience and advice, available
to me via the wonders of modern day technology. In the same vein, I must give
thanks to the millions of people around the world who selflessly contribute to
the many Open-Source projects that have made this possible.
This project would not have been the same without Abhijith, who spent a
week carving a beautiful model blade out of wood, with just my hand drawings
and excited explainations to go by.
I must thank my good friend Rajan, driver of the white Ambassador marked
KLA-3411, for lending his motorbike whenever needed. If you ever need a taxi,
think of him! Trips to our workshop in Karunagappaly were so much easier
(and more frequent) because of him.
Gopi (the mechanic in the garage on the way to the BioTech canteen) got
things started for real, with a heads-up about where spare vehicle parts were
available cheaply. He also undertook to get the hub hydraulically pressed out
of its seating in the Esteem rear hub assembly.
i
I wish to thank Babu, the proprieteer and staff of Super Engineering Work-
shop in Karunagappaly, for his willingness to spend time fulfilling all the odd
demands that this project produced. His skill and expertiese in all types of
fabrication is amazing, and saved us many a headache.
Without Suresh and Shivakumar, two very skilled and honest carpenters,
the blades would not have been done. They did a beautiful job.
As a team, we thank Ani, the carpenter in Achu Furniture in Vallikavu for
letting us use his tools and his workshop.
We owe many thanks to all the laboratory staff at our college, in particular
to Srinivasan Sir, Kanakarajan Sir, and Trivikram Sir, who helped us in many,
many ways.
We owe thanks to Thiyagarajan Sir for the use of what was the fluid lab.
We all but lived there for a few hectic days of work.
We thank Joshua D. Freeman for his hands-off guidance and advice, and
through him, the entire WINSOC project for the use of copious amounts of
Araldite.
Bala Sir is owed thanks for helping us with necessary permissions, and
being supportive throughout the project.
I also want to thank my whole team: Manjusha, Pradeep, and Sanjay, for
being just that — a great team to work with. This is your project report as
much as it is mine; your names should feature somewhere!
I know that many more people than mentioned here have assisted this
project in some way; though I remember you not while writing this, please
know that you have my gratitude.
I want to acknowledge all the future students who will use this project as
a stepping-stone to further research and understanding in the field of wind
energy. I pray that this report will be a valuable tool for you.
As a team, we are honour-bound to give thanks to the wonderful creation
we live in. This project is a small step towards lightening the burden we add
to our Mother Earth through our human greed. Thanks must be given to the
intangible laws that operate to give the wind that turns our wind turbine.
ii
ABSTRACT
Although renewable energy is said to be the ‘energy source of tomorrow,’ it is
being used to meet almost 160TW of global energy production today[1]. With
Peak Oil already behind us (in 2008, see [2]), small-scale power generation, via
wind turbines and other renewable sources, will be much more widespread in
the future. Such systems are typically used for charging batteries to run small
electrical applications, often in remote locations.
The objective of this project is to design and build a horizontal axis upwind
wind electric generator, with the aim of delivering power to small loads. A wind
turbine is a rotating machine which converts the kinetic energy of the wind into
mechanical energy which is then converted to electrical energy by a generator.
Wind resource assessment has been carried out at Amritapuri Ashram as part
of this project. Various configurations of wind electric systems and different
methods of electricity generation are studied to find that horizontal turbines
with permanent magnet generators are the best option.
The mechanical design has been modelled in Pro-E, analyzed for saftey, and
found to be adequate. Tedious calculations involved in the design have been
performed in Python. The generated plans hve been used for manufacture of
the final components. Blades for the turbine were dimensioned using Schmitz
methodology, and carved out of wood. Airfoil data was obtained using XFOIL
software. A permanent magnet generator has been fabricated, and based on
test data, the entire setup is expected to have a C
P
of 0.28.
A secondary objective of this project is to encourage the exploration of
wind and alternative energy systems at Amrita, by providing a base on which
other projects can be developed. To this end, suggestions for enhancements,
improvements, and future projects based on the work done in this project are
listed.
iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE
Acknowledgements i
Abstract iii
List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
List of Symbols & Acronyms xii
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Why Renewable Energy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 The Scope of this Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 Project Philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 Literature Survey 4
2.1 Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3 A General Look at Wind Turbines 6
3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
3.2 Grid-Connected Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3.3 Stand-Alone Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3.4 Reasons for Choosing a Stand-alone system . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3.5 Components of a Wind Electric System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.5.1 Rotor or Wind Turbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.5.2 Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.5.3 Generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.5.4 Tower and Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.5.5 Maximum Power Point Tracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.5.6 Power Converters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
iv
3.5.7 Energy Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.6 The Wind and the System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.6.1 Cut-in Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.6.2 Rated Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.6.3 Cut-out or Furling Wind Speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.7 Wind Turbine Configurtions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.7.1 Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.7.2 Horizonal-Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs) . . . . . . . . . 12
3.7.3 Advantages of HAWT over VAWT . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.8 Design Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.8.1 Lift and Drag Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.8.2 Angle of Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.8.3 Tip Speed Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.8.4 Power Available in the Wind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.8.5 Performance Over a Range of TSR’s . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.9 Losses in Wind Turbines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.9.1 Efficiency Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.9.2 C
p
and the Betz Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.9.3 Friction Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.9.4 Magnetic and Electrical Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.10 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4 Wind Resource Measurement 19
4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.2 Wind Distributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3 Wind Resource Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3.1 What is Wind Resource Assessment? . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3.2 Performing the Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.3.3 Analysis of the Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.4 Rated Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
5 Blade Design and Manufacture 23
5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
v
5.2 Selection of Preliminary Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.3 Required Swept Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
5.4 Selection of Airfoil Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
5.5 Dimensioning of the Blade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.5.1 Steps to Dimension a Blade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.5.2 Formulæ Used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5.5.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5.6 Manufacturing the Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5.6.1 Alterations to the Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.6.2 Selection of Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.6.3 Carving the Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.6.4 Post-Manufacture Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
6 Mechanical & Stuctural Design & Manufacture 33
6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.2 Objectives for the Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.3 Selection of Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6.4 Important Points about the Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.4.1 Furling Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.5 3D Modelling in Pro-Engineer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.6 Manufacturing the Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7 Failure Analysis 38
7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
7.2 Buckling Failure of Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
7.3 Shear Failure of Rotor Bolts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7.4 Shear Failure of the Fulcrum Pin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
7.5 Crushing Failure of Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
7.6 Shear Failure at Blade Root . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
7.7 Tensile Failure of Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
7.8 Crushing Failure at Blade Root . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
7.9 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
vi
8 Tests on Various Generator Types 46
8.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.1.1 Generators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.1.2 Alternators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
8.2 Wind Turbine Alternators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
8.2.1 RPM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
8.2.2 Permanent Magnets v/s Electromagets . . . . . . . . . . 47
8.3 Experimental Analysis of Different Generators . . . . . . . . . . 48
8.3.1 Experiment on a Universal Motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
8.3.2 Experiment on Squirrel-Cage Induction Motor . . . . . . 48
8.3.3 Conversion of Induction Motor to PMG . . . . . . . . . 50
8.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
9 Design and Construction of the PMG 53
9.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
9.2 Rotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
9.2.1 Design of the Rotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
9.2.2 Neodymium Magnets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
9.2.3 Placing the magnets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
9.2.4 Preparing the Mould . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
9.2.5 Casting the Rotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9.3 Stator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9.3.1 Winding the Coils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
9.3.2 Preparing the Mould . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
9.3.3 Casting the Stator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
9.3.4 Connecting the Stator Coils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
9.4 Assembly and Testing of the PMG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
9.4.1 Selection of Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
9.4.2 Converting AC to DC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
9.4.3 Testing of the Generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
9.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
10 Conclusions 65
10.1 Project Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
vii
10.2 Future Projects based on this Platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
10.2.1 Doubling the Magnetic Flux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
10.2.2 Creating a New Stator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
10.2.3 Researching Different Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
10.2.4 Creating a Maximum Power Point Tracker . . . . . . . . 67
10.2.5 Implementing Active Pitch Control . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
10.2.6 Using a Permanent Magnet DC Motor as a Generator . . 68
10.2.7 Investigation into the Furling Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
10.2.8 System Modelling in Simulink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
10.3 A Final Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Bibliography 70
A Bill of Materials & Cost Breakdown 72
B Derivation of Equations Related to Blade Dimensioning 74
B.1 Power in the Wind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
B.2 The Betz Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
B.3 Schmitz Dimensioning Formulæ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
B.4 Blade Tip Velocity w.r.t. Windspeed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
B.5 Rotor RPM w.r.t. Windspeed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
B.6 Reynould’s Number w.r.t. Windspeed and Radius . . . . . . . . 81
B.7 Mach Number w.r.t. Windspeed and Radius . . . . . . . . . . . 81
B.8 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
C The MH100 Family of Airfoils 82
C.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
C.2 MH102 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
C.3 MH104 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
C.4 MH106 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
C.5 MH108 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
C.6 MH110 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
D Drafts of Mechanical Parts 88
viii
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE PAGE
Figure 3.1 Power Flow Block Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Figure 3.2 Vertical axis wind turbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Figure 3.3 Horizontal axis wind turbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Figure 3.4 Angle of Attack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Figure 3.5 C
p
v/s TSR graph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Figure 4.1 Wind speeds being recorded by Weather Display. . . . . . . 21
Figure 4.2 Wind speed frequency chart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Figure 4.3 Wind speed power chart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Figure 5.1 Solidity versus TSR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Figure 5.2 C
P,Real
versus λ
D
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Figure 5.3 Blade Cross-Sections for Manufacture . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Figure 5.4 Before and after images of the blades. . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Figure 6.1 3D Rendering of Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Figure 7.1 The equivalent model for the tower in buckling. . . . . . . 38
Figure 7.2 The free body diagram for the bolt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Figure 7.3 The shear planes for the blade failure analysis. . . . . . . . 43
Figure 7.4 The place where tensile failure of the blades is most likely. 44
Figure 8.1 Experimental setup to test a squirrel cage induction motor. 49
Figure 8.2 Magnets Placed on Rotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Figure 8.3 Voltage versus RPM test on PMG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Figure 8.4 Load test on PMG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Figure 9.1 Neodymium magnets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Figure 9.2 Template placed on the rotor disc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Figure 9.3 Placing the magnets on the rotor disc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Figure 9.4 Workbench. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Figure 9.5 The finished rotor disc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Figure 9.6 Casting the rotor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Figure 9.7 The casted rotor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Figure 9.8 Stator windings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Figure 9.9 The rotor and stator moulds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Figure 9.10 The casted stator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Figure 9.11 Coils placed in the stator mould. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Figure 9.12 The generator on the work bench after assembly. . . . . . . 61
Figure 9.13 Open circuit voltage versus windspeed. . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Figure 9.14 Load test at 4.17 m/s equivalent windspeed. . . . . . . . . 63
Figure B.1 Velocity Diagram for a Wind Turbine . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Figure B.2 Wind flowing through the wind turbine. . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Figure B.3 C
P
versus
v
3
v
1
, showing the best possible value of C
P
. . . . . 77
Figure C.1 MH100 Family of Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Figure D.1 Aerodynamic Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
ix
Figure D.2 End View of Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Figure D.3 Blade Rotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Figure D.4 Magnetic Rotor Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Figure D.5 PMG Stator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Figure D.6 Hub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Figure D.7 Spindle Weldment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Figure D.8 Yaw Mount Weldment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Figure D.9 Furling Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Figure D.10 The Tower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Figure D.11 Ground Anchor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Figure D.12 Fulcrum Pin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
x
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE PAGE
Table 5.1 Calculated properties of the five blade sections by Schmitz
dimensioning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Table 5.2 Calculated properties of the five blade sections for manu-
facture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Table A.1 Bill of Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Table A.2 Cost Breakdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
xi
LIST OF SYMBOLS & ACRONYMS
β The blade twist, or the angle between a blade element’s chord and
the plane of rotation.
C
p
The coefficient of performance of the wind turbine system.
L
D
The Lift to Drag ratio. This ratio varies with the angle of attack.
HAWT Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine. The blades rotate about a horizon-
tal axis.
KISS “Keep It Simple, Sir.”.
λ
D
The Tip Speed Ratio (TSR); the ratio of the blade tip velocity to
freestream wind velocity.
Ma The Mach number, or the ratio of the velocity of a body to the
velocity of sound in the same medium.
MPPT Maximum Power Point Tracker.
NACA The US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. This orga-
nization has been absorbed into NASA, the National Aeronautical
and Space Agency.
ω Rotational speed in radians per second.
PMG Permanent Magnet Generator.
PyXFOIL A Python wrapper for XFOIL. XFOIL is a Fortran program writ-
ten by M. Drela of the Aerospace Department, University of Illinois,
used to mathematically mix, analyze, and create new airfoils.
R The radius of the swept area, or length from blade tip to blade hub
center.
Re The Reynould’s number, a measure of the turbulence in the flow.
xii
ρ The density of air at sea level. ρ = 1.225kg/m
3
.
V A unit of potential difference in electrical circuits.
VAWT Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. The blades rotate about a vertical
axis.
W A unit of power, equal to one Joule of energy per second.
xiii
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Why Renewable Energy?
Only recently it was announced that analysts have determined that Peak Oil
has already happened (see [2]). This means that in the near future, new
resources of oil will not be available to meet the growing greed for energy.
We will be forced to find new ways to power our gadgets, necessities, and our
consumer lifestyle.
Perhaps the most important and simplest way to create energy is to save
it. However, this approach often rubs contrary with most people, who are
determined that their share of energy is more than what the world can support.
A more politically correct solution is to research alternative ways to create
energy. That is partly the inspiration behind this project.
More importantly, however, is the fact that today’s main energy sources, oil
and coal, are contributing to the rape and murder of Mother Earth. As this is
written, an oil spill is continuing to grow at the rate of more than one million
1
gallons of oil per day in the Gulf of Mexico, the direct and disasterous result
of increased offshore exploration for oil. Mountains are being blown up for
coal in Appalachia, ruining nature’s beauty, clogging and polluting streams,
killing scores of animals and plants, and endangering human lives. Arboreal
forest is being removed in Canada, and oil is being squeezed from sand in
what is perhaps the most environmetally and ecologically damaging method
of oil-extraction.
The discovery, harvest, production, use, and disposal of today’s energy
sources are killing the planet. This year, 2010, has been the hottest year on
record, in the past few centuries. Today’s energy sources pollute the planet
and are the reason for tomorrow’s mass extinction.
1
According to Ian MacDonald, Oceanographer, Florida State University.
1
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
It is in recognition of this crises that this project was undertaken, to gain
an understanding of how to produce clean energy. Small scale electricity gen-
eration is the method of the future.
1.2 The Scope of this Project
This project has been undertaken with the following overall objectives:
1. To study wind turbines and to gain practical experience in building a
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator.
2. To encourage renewable energy research and implementation at Amrita.
3. To create a base which future students can use to do their own projects
in wind energy. Suggestions for these projects have been included in
chapter 10.
This project report has been written primarily to assist future students in
their endevours, should they choose to discover the free energy blowing in the
wind.
1.3 Project Philosophy
In the execution of this project, a certian philosophy regarding the engineering
design and implementation was realized. In the interest of completeness and
for the benefit of future students, it is included here.
KISS is a well known acronym for “Keep It Simple, Sir.” This is one of
the deciding factors in this project. When considering the addition of any
components, evaluation was done to see if there was a simpler, more elegant
way to accomplish the same end, and needless complexity was done away with
as much as possible. This has contributed to a design that can be replicated
by semi-skilled people.
Redundant safety and control systems is necessary for any engineering
project, but so often overlooked as “wasted effort.” For the proposed de-
sign in this project to be usable by a wide range of people, it is important that
2
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
it be as safe as possible. Redundant safety and control systems ensure that
safety is maintained even with partial failure of the machine.
The mechanical design was heavily influenced by the objective of having a
flexible and modular design, that would allow future students to make mod-
ifications, replace parts, and innovate on this platform, without having to
re-create the entire setup.
As far as possible, open source solutions were employed in the execution of
this project. This included the creation of a well commented L
A
T
E
X document
class for Amrita School of Engineering project reports, which was used by
at least four project teams this year. Open source solutions are preferred
for reasons of quality, customizability, security, and standards support. With
the exception of the three dimensional modelling, everything else has been
accomplished in open source. Furthermore, the code, models, drafts, and
documentation from this project will be released under open source licenses,
such as Creative Commons, General Public License, and the L
A
T
E
X Project
Public License.
Low cost is the driving objective behind any design, and this project is no
exception.
This project documentation, and generated data, is released under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. For
more information about this license, please see http://creativecommons.
org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/in/.
Computer code, and the 3D models are released under the GNU General
Public License version 3.0. For more information about this license, please see
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.
3
2. LITERATURE SURVEY
This chapter gives a brief insight on the reasons that inspired this project, and
gives an overview of various materials, books and articles that were helpful in
gaining knowledge of the related topics.
Magazines, blog articles, discussion forums, text books, and dreams were
all part of the vast array of resources that were devoured in the quest for
knowledge that this project entailed. Of particular note are the following
resources:
1. Wind Power Plants by R. Gasch and J. Twele.
2. Homebrew Wind Power by Dan Bartmann and Dan Fink.
3. Aerodynamics of Wind Turbine Blades by Martin C. Jischle, University
of Oklahoma.
4. Optimization of a low speed Wind Turbine by John Nathaniel Wise, Uni-
versity of Stellenbosch.
5. OtherPower.com — forums for Small Scale Wind Turbine enthusiasts.
For a more complete (but not exhaustive) list of our references, please see
the bibliography.
2.1 Findings
The literature survey blossomed into a full-scale fast-track course on the me-
chanical and electrical aspects of wind energy. Much more than can be related
here has been learnt. In particular, the following points are felt to be useful
to remember for a beginner:
4
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
• The Betz Limit of 59.26% is the maximum ratio of energy that can be
extracted from any flow, with any device.
• Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets are the strongest type of
magnet easily available, and are ideal for use in small permanent magnet
generators.
• A Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) is necessary for proper control
and operation of the wind turbine at all windspeeds. A simple MPPT
can be designed and constructed which requires only the AC frequency
input from the PMG.
• Power available in the wind is proportional to the cube of the windspeed,
and the square of the rotor radius.
• Passive mechanical control can and should be used for small scale tur-
bines. This includes a furling tail, stall-controlled blades, and centrifu-
gally activated active pitch control.
• Large wind turbines in overspeed conditions can go supersonic at the
tips of the blades, generating large stresses in the blades, and very ob-
jectionable noise.
Further information gathered from the literary review is presented in the
rest of this report, in particular, in chapter 3.
5
3. A GENERAL LOOK AT WIND TURBINES
3.1 Introduction
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such
as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate
capacity of windpowered generators was 121.2 gigawatts (GW). Wind energy
as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels, because it is
plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas
emissions.
A wind electric generator converts the kinetic energy of the wind into useful
electricity which can be used for various applications like battery charging,
household lighting, etc.
Small wind energy systems can be used in connection with an electricity
transmission and distribution system (called grid-connected or grid-tie sys-
tems), or in standalone applications that are not connected to the utility grid.
Wind turbines come in two main flavours: the more common horizontal
axis, or the vertical axis design. Small scale wind turbines vary in size with
a range of models available, from less than 100 watts (W) up to 50 kilowatts
(kW). Micro wind turbines (less than 100W), are often used to charge 12 volt
(V) or 24V battery banks, for use on standalone systems. Turbines ranging
from 0.6kW to 50kW can be used to provide electricity generation for individ-
ual houses and businesses, with rooftop models varying from 0.5kW to 2.5kW
in size. Large scale systems can produce megawatts of power. Such systems
are typically deployed off-shore, either floating or ground-anchored, and are
used widely in Europe.
6
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
3.2 Grid-Connected Systems
In grid connected wind systems the output of the wind turbine is directly con-
nected to the existing mains electricity supply. This type of system can be
used both for individual wind turbines and for wind farms exporting electric-
ity to the electricity network. A grid-connected wind turbine can be a good
proposition if there is excess generation, and the electricity company offers
feed-in tariffs.
A grid-connected wind turbine can reduce the consumption of utility sup-
plied electricity for lighting, appliances, and electric heat. If the turbine can-
not deliver the amount of energy you need, the utility makes up the difference.
When the wind system produces more electricity than the household requires,
the excess can be be returned to the grid. With the interconnections available
today, switching takes place automatically.
One big issue with grid connected turbines is the expensive extra equip-
ment, utility company and government regulations, inspections and permits
that are required to connect to the grid.
3.3 Stand-Alone Systems
Small wind turbines have traditionally been used to generate electricity for
charging batteries for small electrical applications, often in remote locations
where it is expensive or not physically possible to connect to a mains power
supply. Such examples include rural farms, island communities, boats and
caravans. Typical applications are electric livestock fencing, small electric
pumps, lighting or any kind of small electronic system needed to control or
monitor remote equipment, including security systems.
3.4 Reasons for Choosing a Stand-alone system
• The site under consideration has an average annual wind speed of at
least 4m/s.
• A grid connection is not available or can only be made via extra expense.
7
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
• One is interested in gaining energy independence from the grid.
• To reduce the environmental impact of electricity production.
Figure 3.1: Block diagram showing power flow in a Stand-Alone Wind Electric
System.
3.5 Components of a Wind Electric System
The following are the components of a wind electric system:
3.5.1 Rotor or Wind Turbine
The rotor is what extracts energy from the wind, through blades, and turns
a shaft. Most wind turbines have an ‘upwind’ configuration (where the ro-
tor is pointed into the wind) and use three blades for electricity generation.
Higher torque applications such as wind pumps use more blades, at the cost
of efficiency and speed.
3.5.2 Tail
The tail is an indispensable part of upwind turbines; it keeps the rotor pointed
into the wind. Tails are not simply vertical boards placed downwind from
the rotor. Depending on the configuration, a tail may be required to furl
(fold out of the way) at a certain windspeed to protect the wind turbine from
overspeeding.
3.5.3 Generator
A generator, very simply, is an arrangement of components designed to cause
relative motion between a magnetic field and the conductors in which the
emf is to be induced. Those conductors, out of which flows electric power,
8
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
form what is called the ‘armature’. Most large generators have the armature
windings fixed in the stationary portion of the machine (called the ‘stator’),
and the necessary relative motion is caused by rotating the magnetic field. A
type of electrical machine that is being used more frequently in wind turbine
applications is the permanent magnet generator. This is now the generator of
choice in most small wind turbine generators, up to around 10kW. In these
generators, permanent magnets provide the magnetic field, so there is no need
for field windings or supply of current to the field.
3.5.4 Tower and Foundation
The tower and foundation is often the most expensive part of a wind turbine
system. It is also the most crucial, for without a proper tower and foundation,
the turbine can crash, destroying itself and potentially causing damage and
injury to others.
3.5.5 Maximum Power Point Tracker
The maximum power point tracker for a wind turbine monitors the speed of
rotation, and regulates the applied load to avoid stalling the machine. Stall
happens when excessive load is applied, and the blades slow down and stop.
This condition is best to avoid, as after stalling, the machine must spin up
and gather momentum before it can be used to generate electricity, which
translates to lost power. Advanced MPPT units can double as wind turbine
controllers, which will apply dummy loads as needed, and even shut down the
turbine in overspeed conditions.
3.5.6 Power Converters
Power converters are devices used to change electrical power from one form to
another, as in AC to DC, DC to AC, one voltage to another, or one frequency
to another, Power converters have many applications in wind energy systems.
They are being used more often as the technology develops.
9
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
3.5.7 Energy Storage
Energy is most often stored in batteries. In grid-connected systems, the grid
can be envisioned as a battery of infinite storage capacity.
3.6 The Wind and the System
Any wind electric system has a few characteristic wind speeds, which define
its operating parameters. These have been included here.
3.6.1 Cut-in Wind Speed
The cut-in wind speed is the speed at which the wind turbine starts to generate
electricity.
Lowspeed winds may not have enough power to overcome friction in the
drive train of the turbine and, even if it does and the generator is rotating, the
electrical power generated may not be enough to offset the power required by
the generator field windings (for certain designs).
Therefore, the wind turbine is allowed to rotate at no load in low wind-
speeds, and allowed to spin up to a certain cut-in speed before useful power is
generated.
3.6.2 Rated Wind Speed
As velocity increases above the cut-in wind speed, the power delivered by
the generator rises with the cube of wind speed. The rated windspeed is the
speed at which the wind turbine will produce its maximum power, that it was
designed to produce.
3.6.3 Cut-out or Furling Wind Speed
As wind speed continues to increase, it may pose a danger to the turbine,
causing it to rotate at speeds which the mechanical components cannot with-
stand. This is called ‘overspeeding’, and is a dangerous condition for the wind
turbine. Before the situation gets dangerous, the wind turbine must be shut
10
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
down, either with mechanical brakes (large scale systems) or by shorting the
terminals and creating an electrical brake (PMG systems). This windspeed is
called the cut-out windspeed.
The term ‘furling wind speed’ stems from the fact that many smaller wind
turbines use a furling tail. A furling tail is a tail that, in normal operating
wind speeds, keeps the wind turbine pointed into the wind, but at high wind
speeds, ‘furls’ (folds out of the way), causing the turbine to turn out of the
wind. This is a type of passive mechanical overspeed protection, and is very
effective in protecting the turbine.
3.7 Wind Turbine Configurtions
3.7.1 Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs)
This configuration of wind turbines have the main rotor shaft arranged verti-
cally. The important feature of this arrangement is that the turbine does not
need to be pointed into the wind to be effective, and can harness wind from
any direction. This is an advantage in sites where the wind direction is highly
variable.
Figure 3.2: Vertical axis wind turbine
VAWTs are one of the oldest configurations, having been used in Persia
thousands of years ago to grind grain. They have recently begun to gain
11
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
popularity due to the lower cost and perceived versatility over the horizontal
configuration.
3.7.2 Horizonal-Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs)
The HAWT configuration has the main rotor shaft and electrical generator at
the top of a tower. In ‘upwind’ configurations, the front of the rotor must be
pointed into the wind, whereas for the ‘downwind’ variety, the rotor orients
itself correctly automatically. The rotation about the vertical axis is called
‘yaw’. Small turbines use a yaw tail to keep them oriented into the wind,
while large turbines use wind sensors with servo motor drives.
Figure 3.3: Horizontal axis wind turbine
3.7.3 Advantages of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Over Vertical
Axis Wind Turbine
It is theorized that VAWTs can never be as efficient as HAWTs. This is due to
the very nature of the design. Because half of the machine is moving counter
to the direction of the wind, the machine must sweep twice as large as area as
a HAWT to generate the same amount of power. And since VAWT designs
are generally half as efficient as horizontal axis turbines due to the slow blade
speeds, for the same power, a VAWT would require four times the swept area
as an HAWT.
Furthermore, there are other advantages, as listed here:
• Variable pitch angle, which gives the optimum angle of attack. The
angle of attack can be adjusted such that it collects maximum amount
of energy.
12
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
• The tall tower allows access to stronger wind outside the wind shear
boundary layer.
• Horizontal axis turbines have higher efficiency, since the blades always
move perpendicular to the wind, receiving power through the whole ro-
tation. Most vertical axis turbines produce energy at only 50% of the
efficiency of the horizontal axis turbine because of the additional drag
that they have as their blades rotate into the wind.
For these reasons, it was decided to choose a HAWT wind turbine config-
uration for this project.
3.8 Parameters in the Design and Operation of Wind
Turbines
The difficulty in extracting energy from wind compared to other resources like
hydro power, solar, or fossil fuels, is that the power available in wind changes
rapidly and wildly, with the wind. The power available from the wind that can
be extracted by the turbine largely depends on the swept area of the turbine
and the wind speed. Therefore larger the swept area of the turbine, greater
is the power obtained. Another factor that influences the power output is the
height of the tower. The wind speeds will be more at greater heights and hence
the power available is also more.
The basic terms associated with the design of a wind turbine are:
• Lift and Drag Forces
• Angle of Attack
• Tip Speed Ratio
Each of these is explained in detail further on.
3.8.1 Lift and Drag Forces
The wind flowing past the surface of the turbine exerts a force on it. Lift is
defined as the component of this force that is perpendicular to the direction
13
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
of the wind. The component of this force which is parallel to the direction of
the wind is called ‘drag force’.
Both of these forces can be used to power wind turbines, using different
design methodologies.
Drag based wind turbines provide high torque at low rpm from the drag
forces. This makes them suitable for pumping water or grinding grain, both
being high torque operations.
Drag based turbines perform very poorly for making electricity. This is
because, in a drag-based design, the blades can never move faster than the
wind. At higher speeds, the efficiency and ease of power generation both
increase, making the turbine blade speed a critical factor.
In Lift-based wind turbines, the lift is created by diverting air from the
axial direction, or by inducing a vortex in the windstream. The force required
to divert the air is matched by the reaction of the air on the blade, causing the
blade to rotate and generate power. The key concept of lift is that it allows the
blade tips of a wind turbine to move faster than the wind. This is important
because doubling the forward speed of the blades quadruples their effect on
the wind.
Most modern wind turbines are lift based. These wind turbines also expe-
rience a drag force, but the objective is to minimize drag and maximize lift for
the turbine blades.
3.8.2 Angle of Attack
The angle of attack of a wind turbine is the angle between the chord line of
the blade section and the apparent velocity of the wind. This is shown in
figure B.1. Each airfoil shape (the cross-sectional profile of the blade) has lift
and drag components which depend on the angle of attack. If the angle is too
much or too little, drag forces increase, lift forces decrease and the air behind
the blade becomes turbulent; the blade is said to stall (or stop producing lift).
Figure 3.4 gives the general idea.
14
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 3.4: Angle of Attack.
3.8.3 Tip Speed Ratio
Tip speed ratio (λ
D
) is the ratio of the speed of the rotating blade tip to the
speed of the free stream wind. The overall efficiency of the blades (how much
power they take out of the wind and transfer to a spinning shaft) has been
found to depend on the TSR. Drag based machines have a TSR of one or less,
which is why they are not used for electricity generation purposes. The best
TSR range to maximize blade efficiency while keeping tip speeds from getting
out of hand is a TSR of five to six.
TSR =
ωR
V
(3.1)
where:
ω is the rotational speed in radians per second.
R refers to the swept area radius.
V refers to the wind freestream velocity.
15
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
3.8.4 Power Available in the Wind
The power in the wind that is available for harvest depends on the wind speed,
air density and the area that is swept by the turbine blades. The power avail-
able in the wind that can be converted into useful energy can be determined
using the following parameters:
• Air Density (ρ) = 1.225 kilograms per cubic meter (at sea level).
• Swept area in square meters, A.
• Wind velocity in meters per second, V.
The kinetic energy flowing through the swept area per unit time (also
known as power) is calculated as:
P =
1
2
Av
3
(3.2)
The wind power per unit area of the turbine (wind power density) is:
P
A
=
1
2
v
3
(3.3)
From the above relations it can be noted that:
• The wind power density is directly proportional to the density of air, for
standard condition it is equal 1.23 kg/m3
• Power from the wind is proportional to the area swept by the rotor.
• The wind power is directly proportional to the cube of wind velocity.
When the wind speeds are low, the available wind power is also low. The
only way to increase the available wind power in low wind speeds is by sweeping
a larger area with the blades. Power available increases by a factor of four,
when the diameter of the blade is doubled.
3.8.5 Performance Over a Range of TSR’s
Turbine rotors are designed to run best at a particular TSR, but in reality
the running speed depends how they are loaded. If the generator draws more
power than the rotor has to offer, it slows and often stalls. It is to avoid this
stall that an MPPT is employed.
16
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 3.5: C
p
v/s TSR graph
3.9 Losses in Wind Turbines
Wind energy, though available in plenty, is not easily harnessible. The power
harnessed from the wind is much less than the total power available. This
difference can be attributed to the losses in the wind turbine.
3.9.1 Efficiency Losses
The wind turbine generator does not operate at rated power all of the time.
It can only create as much power as the rotor is able to extract from the wind,
ideally. The blades cannot transfer all the available power in the wind into shaft
power, as they are not 100% efficient. The generator has it’s own inefficiency,
causing additional power loss. The power loss due to the inefficiencies of the
individual components are known as efficiency losses.
3.9.2 Coefficient of Power (C
p
) and the Betz Limit
The final ratio of how much power a wind turbine can extract from the wind
to how much power is available in the wind is called the coefficient of power
(C
p
). Less efficient turbines (lower C
p
) would need a larger swept area to make
the same power from the same wind speed.
17
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
The Betz limit is the absolute maximum that can be extracted from the
available power in wind. It applies to any wind powered device. The value of
the Betz limit is 59.26%.
3.9.3 Friction Losses
The bearings upon which the wind turbine spins are designed to reduce friction,
but it cannot be avoided completely. Friction losses end up as heat inside the
bearings and noise during operation.
3.9.4 Magnetic and Electrical Losses
Due to imprecision during manufacture, wind turbines can have magnetic and
electrical (I
2
R) losses as well. This is particularly true for small scale wind
turbines.
3.10 Conclusion
In this project, an attempt has been made to be as thorough as possible.
Designing and building a wind turbine is a complex task, and no doubt some
aspects have been overlooked. Here, basic information that all should be aware
of, and that was gained in the literary review stage, has been presented.
18
4. WIND RESOURCE MEASUREMENT
4.1 Introduction
The economic viability of constructing a wind turbine system at a particular
site depends most strongly on the quality of the wind resource available. Gen-
erally, average annual wind speeds of at least 4.0–4.5 m/s (14.4–16.2 km/h or
9.0–10.2 mph) are needed for a small wind turbine to produce enough electric-
ity to be cost effective. A very useful resource for evaluating a site for its wind
energy potential is wind resource assessment technique.
4.2 Wind Distributions
The statistics used to calculate wind speeds are complicated, but the results
are easy to understand. Most winds come to at lower and moderate speeds,
and higher winds are relatively rare. In most locations world wide, wind speeds
keeps fairly close to a Rayleigh distribution. There are non-Rayleigh locations
where the curve takes on other shapes but these are relatively rare.
4.3 Wind Resource Assessment
4.3.1 What is Wind Resource Assessment?
In wind resource assessment the wind speed measurements recorded at the site
under consideration represent the wind potential at that site.
The most important component of a wind resource evaluation system is
an anemometer. A common type of anemometer is the “Cup Anemometer,”
which has small hemi-spherical cups mounted on short arms, connected to a
rotating vertical shaft. The anemometer rotates in the wind and generates a
signal that is proportional to the wind speed.
19
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
It is very important that the measurement equipment is set high enough to
avoid turbulence created by trees, buildings or other obstructions. This height
is roughly taken to be 30 meters above the ground, or 10 meters above any
nearby obstacles, whichever is higher. Readings are most useful when taken
at hub height, or the planned elevation for the proposed wind turbine hub.
The anemometer is connected to a data logger which continuously records
wind speeds measured by the anemometer. The data logger can be anything
from a simple graph to a computer system.
4.3.2 Performing the Assessment
For this project, the wind resources on top of the ‘B’ building in Amritapuri
Ashram were measured using an anemometer for a period of six months, from
March 2009 to August 2009. After August, the room used to house the data
logger was required by the accomodation office, and the anemometer broke
down, effectively ending the assessment. Due to unavoidable reasons, out of
six month’s data, only five months were usable.
The magnitude and direction of the wind speeds at the proposed site were
measured and recorded as per-minute averages with the help of a software
called Weather Display. Weather Display is a full-fledged weather station pro-
gram, which can accept inputs for temperature, rainfall, wind, wind direction,
humidity, etc. The data thus collected was tabulated and analyzed to guage
the power available from that location the site.
The weather station used to record the wind speeds is shown in figure 4.1.
4.3.3 Analysis of the Results
The frequency distribution of the wind speeds for a period of five months were
plotted and analyzed to obtain the average wind speed of the site. It must be
noted that the wind speeds vary from time to time and the wind speed that
prevails for the maximum amount of time is useful for harnessing power. The
average wind speed for the five months of data was calculated to be 5.26m/s.
Figure 4.3 shows the power available with the wind measurements obtained.
20
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 4.1: Wind speeds being recorded by Weather Display.
The average windspeed is important as it is the defining windspeed for
the proposed wind turbine system. All calculations will be done based on the
average windspeed, to ensure that for most of the time, the system will be able
to generate power.
Since the data aquisition period did not complete a full year, the data is not
sufficient to create a representative distribution curve. The wind distribution
is plotted in figure 4.2.
Figure 4.2: Wind speed frequency chart.
21
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
4.4 Rated Output
Rated output power (or plain “Rated Power”) is the maximum sustained out-
put that the turbine can produce. It is not a sufficient metric to be used for
wind turbines, as they seldomly attain full-power output. A wind turbine is
entirely at the mercy of the wind; no wind means no power, no matter what
the rated power is. Therefore it can be said that “Rated power is overrated.”
More important is the cut-in speed for the wind turbine, and the operating
range of windspeeds. These must be matched to the wind resources, to ensure
optimum power generation. The equation for power (equation (B.1)) shows
that power is proportionate to the third power of the windspeed. Thus the
power availability depends directly on the wind speed of the site considered.
Figure 4.3: Wind speed power chart.
4.5 Conclusion
The wind analysis performed for this project is inconclusive, when analyzed
for the viability of installing commercial grade wind power generators on the
top of B building. This is not, however, indicative of inviability; rather it is
due to the fact that the wind resource assessment was not completed due to
unavoidable reasons.
22
5. BLADE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE
5.1 Introduction
The blades on a wind turbine are what extract power from the air. They
work in the same way as an airplane’s wing, generating lift in the direction
of rotation by diverting air in the opposite direction. In the linear system of
an airplane wing, the diverted air forms a downwash behind the wing; in the
rotary system of the wind turbine blade, the diverted air forms a spiralling
vortex in the air behind the turbine.
5.2 Selection of Preliminary Values
In designing a wind turbine blade, preliminary estimates or guesses must be
made regarding some parameters, which are then revised at a later stage.
The first values to be determined are the number of blades and the tip speed
ratio (λ
D
). The only way to choose these values is by studying the various
configurations already documented, and selecting accordingly.
For this project, a tip speed ratio of six (λ
D
= 6) and a three-bladed
configuration (n = 3) were selected. The selection was influenced, in part, by
figure 5.1.
5.3 Required Swept Area
The equation for power from the wind is:
P
Real
=
ρ
2
πR
2
V
3
1
C
P,Real
(5.1)
23
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 5.1: Solidity versus tip speed ratio. Courtesy [11].
where
P
Real
represents the real power available from the blades,
ρ is the density of air (1.225kg/m
3
),
R is the radius of the swept area,
V
1
is the upstream velocity of the wind, and
C
P,Real
is the overall coefficient of performance of the blades.
For the purpose of calculating the required swept area, suitable values
for the remaining variables must be assumed. The velocity is taken to be the
average freestream velocity, V
1
= 5.26m/s. At the average velocity, the desired
power is 80W.
A suitable value for C
P,Real
taken from figure 5.2. The number of blades
having already been decided as n = 3, a value for ε was assumed. Effectiveness
of the blade is represented by ε, which has the value of
C
L
C
D
. As a conservative
value, ε = 20 was selected. These determinations combine to give, via figure
5.2, a C
P,Real
of 0.35.
Therefore, the value of the required radius is found to be R = 0.906m,
corresponding to a swept area of 2.096m
2
. For convenience, the desired radius
24
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 5.2: C
P,Real
versus λ
D
for wind turbines, varying the number of blades
and effectiveness of the blades. Chart courtesy of [11].
is adjusted up to 0.95 meters.
5.4 Selection of Airfoil Shapes
The selection of the airfoil for the blade determines the blade’s performance.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of airfoils to choose from, ranging from
general purpose NACA airfoils to very special purpose airfoils like the Whitman
Supercritical airfoil.
Each airfoil, though seemingly akin to all the others, has very individual
performance characteristics of stall angle, best lift-to-drag ratio (
L
D
ratio), op-
erational range of attack angles, etc. Therefore, the selection of proper airfoils
proved a daunting task.
Practically, it is sufficient to choose any airfoil with a decent
L
D
ratio, and
build the blade from that. High performance wind turbines, however, employ
different airfoils at different radial sections of the blade, thereby obtaining a
wider range of operating conditions for the wind turbine.
In this project, it was decided to design the blades incorporating passive
25
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
stall control, whereby the blades themselves stop producing power in overspeed
conditions. This feature is part of our redundant protection, and when coupled
with a furling tail, gives very good protection to the wind turbine.
The decision to incorporate passive stall control necessitated that the air-
foil(s) chosen should have a sharply decreasing
L
D
ratio after stall. The MH100
family of airfoils were tested in XFOIL and compared to standard NACA air-
foils, and found to possess the desirable characteristics. In fact, the MH100
family was specifically designed for stall controlled wind turbine blades.
The MH100 family is found in its entirety in appendix C.
5.5 Dimensioning of the Blade
Blade dimensioning is a complex process. In short, there are two methods
of blade dimensioning: Betz dimensioning, and Schmitz dimensioning. Both
of these methodologies have originated in Germany, and are a product of the
famous German precision and quality engineering.
For this project, Schmitz dimensioning was adopted. Schmitz dimensioning
is an improvement on Betz dimensioning, and as such, is more accurate for
higher tip speed ratio wind turbines.
5.5.1 Steps to Dimension a Blade
Schmitz dimensioning specifies the principle equations to be evaluated at each
defining blade section. These equations define the shape of the blade and the
operating conditions of each section. Dimensioning the blade is accomplished
by the following steps:
1. Based on performance characteristics and prior experience, the airfoil
sections to use are selected and assigned axial positions (r) along the
blade. These are the principle blade elements.
2. Approximate values are assumed for the chord (c) at each section.
3. Using c and r, approximate values of the Mach (Ma) number and Rey-
nould’s number (Re) at that section are calculated. Equations relating
26
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Ma and Re to freestream velocity have been included in appendix B.
These values are calculated using the average freestream velocity, in this
case, 5.26 m/s, and are required for analyzing the airfoil in PyXFOIL.
4. Using PyXFOIL, the coefficients of lift (C
L
) and drag (C
D
), and the
polar diagram for each airfoil section is created. This polar diagram is
used to determine the best angle of attack for the blade element under
consideration.
5. Having selected the best angle of attack, equations (5.2), (5.3), and (5.4),
are used to calculate the theoretically optimum values of chord and blade
twist (β).
6. Each blade is represented as a series of airfoil cross sections, as specified
axial locations, each with it’s own chord and twist angle, as shown in
figure 5.3.
5.5.2 Formulæ Used
The angle of apparent wind is calculated by the following formula:
φ
1
(r) = tan
−1

R
λ
D
r

(5.2)
The value of φ
1
(r) for each blade element (or cross section) is required to
find the minimum chord, using the formula:
c(r) =
16πr
nC
L
sin
2

φ
1
3

(5.3)
Blade twist at each airfoil section is calculated as:
β(r) =
2
3
tan
−1

R
λ
D
r

−α
A
(5.4)
These formulæ have been derived in appendix B.
27
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
5.5.3 Results
The MH100 family of airfoils is a set of five airfoils, with specific axial positions.
The analysis was carried out keeping those positions, and results were obtained
as shown in table 5.1.
# Profile Distance from Root r (m) Chord c (m) Blade Twist β (

)
1 MH102 0 0.27 34.5
2 MH104 0.188 0.07 8.5
3 MH106 0.232 0.06 4.5
4 MH108 0.476 0.05 1
5 MH110 0.620 0.04 0
Table 5.1: Calculated properties of the five blade sections by Schmitz dimen-
sioning. Note that blade twist is calculated with relation to the plane of
rotation of the blade.
5.6 Manufacturing the Blades
A number of methods for manufacture were proposed for the blades. Among
these were:
1. Aluminium skin wrapped around plywood pieces cut to the shape of the
profiles, mounted on fully threaded rods.
2. Aluminium skin shaped on a wooden blade and filled with “puff,” an
expanding foam used in boat-building.
3. Aluminium casting manufactured in Coimbatore.
4. Balsa wood cut and shaped, then waxed or painted for strength.
5. Wood carving.
After a proper examination of the various proposals and evaluating the
complexity and environmental impact of each, it was decided to contract a
carpenter to carve the blades out of solid or laminated wooden planks.
28
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
5.6.1 Alterations to the Design
For large mega-Watt range wind turbines, with blades 50 or 60 meters long, and
complex specifications that were derived are applicable, and are necessary for
optimum performance. However, for micro scale (less than 100W) installations,
such complexity can hamper manufacture.
The blade, as calculated, was found to be exceedingly precise. Struc-
tural considerations and input from carpenters caused the calculated results
shown in table 5.1 to be used merely as a reference for designing the final,
manufacture-ready blade.
Employing five different profiles was found to be difficult to carve from
wood, not the least because the profiles must be interpolated to obtain the in-
termediate cross-sectional shape along the blade. Additionally, the calculated
dimensions would have caused the blade to be exceedingly thin and delicate
at the tip, which would introduce significant structural problems.
These problems were overcome by simplifying the design with the following
constraints:
• Only two airfoil profiles were employed, MH102 at the root, and MH104
for the remaining sections.
• The chord of the MH104 was kept constant throughout the blade.
• The length of the blade was increased to 0.8m.
• Chord lengths and twist angles were rounded and approximated to near-
est convenient values.
These specifications necessitated re-calculating the blade twist for the third,
fourth, and fifth sections, as the profile shape was changed. After re-calculation,
the values given in table 5.2 were adopted for manufacture. Due to the com-
plex shape of the blade, three-view drawings were hand drawn and given to the
carpenters. A quasi-isometric view with all the relevant information is shown
in figure 5.3.
29
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
# Profile Distance from Root r (m) Chord c (m) Blade Twist β (

)
1 MH102 0 0.27 36.5
2 MH104 0.188 0.07 8.5
3 MH104 0.232 0.07 4
4 MH104 0.476 0.07 1.5
5 MH104 0.620 0.07 0
Table 5.2: Calculated properties of the five blade sections for manufacture.
Note that blade twist is calculated with relation to the plane of rotation of the
blade.
5.6.2 Selection of Wood
The carpenter was given the freedom to choose a wood that he deemed suitable,
given the following requirements:
1. High tensile strength.
2. High compressive strength.
3. Good properties for carving.
Based on his experience, Ani (the carpenter) recommended a wood known
locally as “Sheelanthi,” which has been translated as “Tulip-Tree.” This is
the wood that was used for carving all the blades. Wood was procured from
a sawmill in Alumkadavu. The blade blanks were made by laminating planks
of wood together with glue, as shown in figure 5.4.
5.6.3 Carving the Blades
The first blade was carved by Abhijith, from Italy, from drawings and extensive
explainations. A cardboard mock-up was fabricated to show the placement of
profile sections. Two fixtures were cut from aluminium to be used as guides
for carving, with angles and horizontal guides marked on them.
Abhijith spent a week carving the first one very carefully, first rough cutting
the shape, and then using a hammer and chisel to get an approximate outline.
Finally, he finished the blade with a rasp and sandpaper. Figure 5.4 shows the
blade blank, and the finished blade.
30
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 5.3: Diagram showing the cross sections and dimensions of a blade.
Note that the twist angle shown here is w.r.t. the chord of the root profile, for
the purpose of manufacture.
Abhijith unfortunately did not have the time to carve all three blades.
His one blade was used as an example, and taken to carpenters Suresh and
Shivakumar, who were able to carve four more (one as a spare and one for
display purposes) in a two week period. Each blade seems to take one week to
carve, due to complexity.
5.6.4 Post-Manufacture Treatment
Dan Fink, in [10] recommends coating the blades liberally with linseed oil at
regular intervals, but not to coat them with paint or other sealant (like varnish).
This is because the blades must adjust internally to changing atmospheric
conditions throughout the years of operation, and a sealant would hamper the
process. Linseed oil waterproofs the wood, while at the same time, keeping
them open to the atmospheric conditions. For this project, it has been elected
to follow this advice.
31
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 5.4: Before and after images of the blades.
5.7 Conclusion
The Schmitz dimensioning scheme, used in this project to dimension the
blades, produces complex blade shapes that can harness optimum power from
the wind, based on the characteristics of the airfoil profile chosen. For large
scale wind turbines, the effort required to manufacture the blade to the spec-
ifications obtained from the Schmitz method is compensated for by increased
performance.
Whether small scale turbines experience a similar benefit is debatable. In
all probability, a blade with very approximate angles and any suitable profile
would perform similarly. The benefits of increased precision are only realized
in large scale applications.
That said, for the purpose of this project, performing the analysis and
manufacturing the blades to the specifications was a worthwhile exercise.
32
6. MECHANICAL & STUCTURAL DESIGN &
MANUFACTURE
6.1 Introduction
The mechanical design and mathematical testing against failure theories is a
crucial step. The design used for this project was adapted from an existing
design, given in [10], that has seen many years of craft evolution and imple-
mentation in the United States, Europe, Nicaragua, and other countries. The
design is simple to assemble, has minimal parts, minimal weight, and has many
thousands of hours of testing in real wind conditions.
Given the project objective of creating a base on which multiple variations
and different designs can be tested, and given local availability of materials,
the above mentioned design had to be modified, and this necessitated mathe-
matical verification against theoretical failure models for critical components.
6.2 Objectives for the Design
The following major objectives were determined, to be accomplished by the
mechanical and structural design:
Safety The safety of the design is paramount. No part may at any time
come loose which might cause catastrophic failure, or may injure people.
The mechanical design must be able to compensate for overloading, and
protect itself against adverse conditions. Additionally, at no point in the
construction and operation of this wind turbine may people be subject
to bodily harm.
Modularity This stems from the project objectives: to produce a flexible
and re-configurable wind turbine system. To encourage further research
33
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
and future projects based on this platform, ease of reconfiguration is
necessary. To this end, the design must be modular, with standardized
components and interfaces.
Compact As a final objective, components must be packaged and functions
executed in as simple and compact a manner as possible.
All of the decisions taken while adapting the design to this project were
evaluated against each above objective in turn. This proceedure dictated many
aspects of the design.
To ensure a safe design, the following design decisions were taken:
Tilting Tower The tower on which the turbine is to be mounted must tilt
at the base. Thus at no time will any person be required to ascend to
the top of the tower. All maintenance can be accomplished by gently
lowering the tower and performing necessary actions at ground level.
Redundant Overspeed Protection Overspeeding is a condition that oc-
curs when the windspeed becomes excessive. At very high speeds, the
centrifugal force developed in the blades due to rotation may cause the
blades to break, which can precipitate catastrophic failure. To avoid this,
we use redundant overspeed protection measures.
6.3 Selection of Materials
The parts were selected largely based on local availability, ensuring that they
met the minimum requirements of the proposed design. Some important
choices taken were:
1. Maruti Esteem Rear Hub and Spindle assembly as main hub for the
PMG.
2. 40mm x 4mm Mild Steel Angle Iron for most of the fabrication.
3. 5mm thick Mild Steel Disks for the rotors.
4. 5 & 6 inch heavy Galvanized Iron pipe for the tower.
34
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
5. Stainless Steel components for use on and around the rotor assembly.
6. Tulip-tree wood (“Sheelanthi”) for the blades, based on the recommen-
dation of the carpenters.
7. Polyester Resin for casting the stator.
6.4 Important Points about the Design
There are some important points about the design that must be kept in mind.
These were further constraints that had to be worked around.
6.4.1 Furling Tail
The decision to include a furling tail in the design as an additional saftey
device dictated some of the design, to accomodate for it. The tail, in normal
operation, sits downwind of the turbine, and is subjected to buffetting by the
vortex induced in the air by the blades. By an obscure interaction between
the blades, the wind, and the tail, the tail furls out of the way in high speeds
only when the turbine is subject to proper loading conditions. Furthermore, the
dimensioning of the tail and salient parts of the wind turbine are defined by
the following rules of thumb:
1. The horizontal offset of the horizontal turbine axis from the vertical yaw
axis should be one twelth of the blade length.
2. The tail should have surface area equal to about 7% of the turbine’s
swept area.
3. The length of the boom should be about the same as that of a blade.
4. The weight of the tail can be adjusted to fine tune the furling windspeed.
5. The tail, being in the vortex trail, is subject to extreme vibration and
cyclic loading. Therefore wood or a similar damping material should be
used.
35
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
6.5 3D Modelling in Pro-Engineer
As a first step, the planned project was roughly drafted by hand, and the
drafts were transferred to Pro-Engineer Wildfire 4.0 (Educational Edition)
over a three week period. The resulting three dimensional model enabled the
visualization of the assembly process, and precipitated several design changes
to increase modularity, and to decrease weight, cost, and complexity.
Figure 6.1: 3D rendering of the top of the proposed design, final iteration,
from Pro-E.
6.6 Manufacturing the Components
The final draft with plan, elevation, and profile outline views was created and
exported to Adobe’s PDF file format, and printed on A3 paper. Copies of these
plans were given to Babu at Super Engineering Works (metals fabrication shop
in Karunagappally), and the parts, with minimal modification to the plans,
were manufactured accordingly. Copies of these plans have been included here,
in appendix D.
Stainless steel electrodes were used to weld the stainless steel blade hub.
All welding was done using arc welding. Some difficulties were encountered in
the manufacturing process, since the plates purchased were not perfectly flat.
They required extensive flattening proceedures with a sledge hammer.
36
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
The plans for fabricating the furling tail, yaw mount, and the tower for
erecting the turbine have been supplied as part of this project.
6.7 Conclusion
The mechanical design was completed and used as a basis for the actual manu-
facturing process. Last minute modifications to the design while manufacturing
were minimal, proving the usefulness of planning ahead and three-dimensional
modelling.
37
7. FAILURE ANALYSIS
7.1 Introduction
Failure analysis is a mathematical method to ensure that the proposed struc-
ture or design is safe. Sufficient research has been done on materials that
accurate results can be obtained by mathematical models, and the safety or
robustness of a design can be predicted with accuracy and precision.
Failure analysis was carried out on components identified to be critical and
susceptible to failure under normal and stressed use conditions. Data and
equations were taken from [25].
7.2 Buckling Failure of Tower
Figure 7.1: The equivalent model for the tower in buckling.
The tower is represented by a slender beam, fixed vertically at both ends,
with an eccentric axial load applied at the top. Assuming two ends to be fixed
is accurate, as the bottom, though pivoting on a fulcrum pin, is locked into
the vertical position, and the top is constrained in horizontal motion by guy
wires. It can be modelled as shown in figure 7.1. The failure analysis varies
based on the slenderness ratio, calculated as the ratio of length over radius.
38
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Slenderness Ratio =
L
r
(7.1)
where,
L is the Lenght of the pipe (L = 9m) , and
r is the outer radius of the pipe (r = 6inches = 15.24cm.
Therefore, the slenderness ratio assumes a value of
900
15
= 40. Using this
value as a reference, page 6.8 of [25] gives the following formula to calculate
the buckling load:
P
c
=

y
1 +
ey
r
2
sec

L
e
2r

P
c
aE
(7.2)
where,
P
c
is the buckling load,
a is the cross-sectional area of the pipe,
σ
y
is the yield strength of Galvanised Iron,
e is the eccentricity of the load to the tower axis,
y is the maximum fibre distance from the neutral axis,
L
e
is the effective length of the tower for buckling analysis, and
E is the Young’s Modulus of Galvanised Iron.
In this failure analysis, the end constraints dictate that the effective length
L
e
= 0.5 ×L. Thus, we find the following values:
a = 47.1cm
2
σ
y
= 3800kgf/cm
2
e = 25cm
y = 15.24cm
L
e
= 4.5m = 450cm
E = 2.06 ×10
5
N/mm
2
Using these values, the maximum load is found to be:
P
c
= 11, 724.928kgf
Taking a factor of safety of 10 for the tower, the design max load is calcu-
lated to be:
[P
c
] = 1, 172kgf
39
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Analysing the proposed design, it is found that the maximum mass of the
wind turbine, yaw mechanism, PMG, and furling tail put together is not more
than 20 kg, corresponding to a load of 20kgf. Thus the tower, under buckling
analysis, is deemed to be safe.
7.3 Shear Failure of Rotor Bolts
The rotor bolts are made of 12mm fully threaded stainless steel rod. They are
fixed at one end to the hub with bolts, and are free at the other end. Each
bolt is 20 centimeters long, and four such bolts are employed to fix the blades,
blade hub, rotor blank, and rotor disk to the main hub. The blade assembly
rests at the farthest point from the fixed end. To fix the bolts, they are put
under tensile stress by two nuts.
For this analysis, it was assumed that only one bolt was present, and was
taking the entire load by itself. This analysis ensures that, should three of the
four bolts become loose, the turbine will still remain safe, though perhaps not
operational. Additionally, an inherent factor of safety of four is automatically
included, over and above other factors.
Figure 7.2: The free body diagram for the bolt.
The first task is to calculate the reaction forces and moments on the bolt.
The reaction force at the support is found to be F
R
= 43.5N, and the reaction
moment is found to be M
R
= 5.885Nm. These forces are shown in the free
body diagram, figure 7.2.
The area of the bolt, not including the threads, comes to 1.57 ×10
−4
.
40
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Calculating stresses from these values, we have τ
x
= 0.55385N/mm
2
. Ap-
proximating the tensile force due to tightening the bolts to be around 10 kgf,
we find σ
x
= 0.6366N/mm
2
.
The stress tensor is representated as:
[σ] =

σ
x
τ
xy
τ
xz
τ
yx
σ
y
τ
yz
τ
zx
τ
zy
σ
z
¸
¸
¸
¸
Since, in this analysis, there are no stress components in the z direction,
this matrix simplifies to the following:
[σ] =
¸
1.23 0.553859
0.553859 0
¸
To find the principle stresses, the following formula is used:
σ
1,2
=
1
2

σ
x
±

σ
2
x
+ 4τ
2
xy

(7.3)
Using this equation, we find the principle stresses as:
σ
1
= 1.4776N/mm
2
, σ
2
= −0.2076N/mm
2
The Von Mises-Henry failure stress theory has been selected, due to it’s
enhanced precision compared to other failure theories. This theory states that:
σ
2
1
+ σ
2
2
−σ
2
σ
2
= σ
2
y
(7.4)
Using the principle stesses obtained above, the maximum stress applied to
the bolt is found to be:
σ
max
= 1.591587N/mm
2
The strength of the bolt is found after acknowledging that the bolt is under
a completely reversed cyclic load, when the machine is in operation. Therefore,
the fatigue strength of the bolt must be the deciding factor.
The fatigue strength for the bolt is taken from page 7.7 of [25], and found
to be, for infinite life, [σ] = 500kgf/cm
2
= 50N/mm
2
.
Since σ
max
< [σ], the configuration is deemed to be safe. The effective
safety factor here is more than 100, when considering the four bolts.
41
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
7.4 Shear Failure of the Fulcrum Pin
The fulcrum pin bears the entire weight of the wind turbine plus the vertical
component of the tension in the guy wires, in a double shear configuration,
between the ground support and the tower pipe. Should this component fail,
the entire tower will crash, most likely destroying the turbine and possibly
causing injury to people. Thus it is extremely important that this fulcrum pin
not fail.
For this analysis, it has been assumed that the fulcrum pin is undergoing
only single shear. This assumption inherently adds a saftey factor of 2.
The area of the pin, as per the proposed design, is A = 314.159mm
2
. This
area must distribute a stress induced by the entire weight of the tower and
turbine. This weight is estimated to be under 105kg. Taking 105kg, the shear
stress is found by:
τ =
F
A
=
105 ×10
314.159
= 3.34225N/mm
2
(7.5)
The allowable stress for mild steel (C35) is obtained from [25], and found
to be [σ
y
] = 500N/mm
2
. This gives:
[τ] = 0.5[σ
y
] = 250N/mm
2
(7.6)
Thus it is shown that τ
max
< [τ], which means that the fulcrum pin is safe
from shear failure.
7.5 Crushing Failure of Tower
The entire weight of the tower and turbine is passed through the walls of the
tower to the pin. There is a chance that the fulcrum pin hole may enlarge itself
due to the supporting part of the tower being crushed under its own weight.
For the purpose of analysis, the crushing area was taken as a rectangle of
dimensions equal to the thickness of the pipe and the diameter of the hole.
Since the pin passes through the pipe on both sides, the equivalent crushing
area is twice the area of one rectangle.
42
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Area under crushing stress = 2 ×t ×d = 2 ×5 ×20 = 200mm
2
Finding the crushing stress,
σ
c
=
Force
Area
=
1050
200
= 5.25N/mm
2
This stress is found to be well within the allowable limits, giving an effective
factor of safety of 70.
7.6 Shear Failure at Blade Root
The blades are perhaps the most delicate part of the entire turbine. They are
also under significant stress, due to their rotational motion. One way they can
fail is that the wood may shear, leaving the blade anchor bolt attached to the
turbine, while the main part of the blade flies off. The shear planes are shown
in figure 7.3.
Figure 7.3: The shear planes for the blade failure analysis.
The shear in this case would take place parallel to the grain. Shear strenght
of Sheelanthi wood parallel to the blade is estimated at 30N/mm
2
. Assuming
that the blade shears in two rectangular planes on either side of the bolt, this
gives a total shear area of:
Shear Area = 2 ×60 ×40 = 4800mm
2
At windspeeds of 16m/s (the maximum encountered), the blade tips will
have a velocity of:
V
tip
= λ
D
×16 = 96m/s
43
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
This corresponds to a rotational velocity of ω = 101.035rad/s. The cen-
trifugal force on the blade, assuming the mass of the blade is concentrated at
the tip (it is actually concentrated at the root) is found to be:
F = mrω
2
= 0.75 ×0.95 ×101.035
2
= 72.76kN (7.7)
This force produces a shear stress of τ = 15.16N/mm
2
, giving a total factor
of safety of two.
7.7 Tensile Failure of Blades
Another way that the blades can fail is by cracking and breaking, most likely
at the second section, due to the tensile stress developed from the centrifugal
force.
The area on which this tensile force would act is the area of the second
cross-section, or the area of the MH104 profile with a 70mm chord. This are
is approximatly 350mm
2
.
Figure 7.4: The place where tensile failure of the blades is most likely.
The centrifugal force would be developed due to the mass of the blade in
sections 3, 4, and 5. This is generously estimated to be 0.5kg. Using equation
(7.7), the centrifugal force is calculated to be F = 4877N, which corresponds
to a tensile stress of σ = 13.933N/mm
2
.
Given that Sheelanthi has an approximate tensile strength parallel to the
grain of 90N/mm
2
, the factor of saftey is found to be more than six.
44
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
7.8 Crushing Failure at Blade Root
Besides impact with some external body, there is only one other way that the
blades can fail. That is that the wood between the embedded nut and the
external nut may get compressed or crushed, causing the nuts to loosen, and
possibly causing the blade to become loose.
This is actually to be expected, and can be remedied by periodic servicing
and tightening of the external nut. The crushing strength of the wood will
increase as it is compressed, and the situation will stabilize after a few months
of use.
7.9 Conclusion
The failure analysis carried out on the proposed design has proven it’s robust-
ness and fitness for implementation. Each component has been designed with
a factor of safety over and above nominal values, and the entire structure has
been found to be safe.
45
8. TESTS ON VARIOUS GENERATOR TYPES
8.1 Introduction
There are two categories of machines that are used to create electrical power
from shaft power. These are generators and alternators.
8.1.1 Generators
We know that moving coils next to magnets can be used to change kinetic
energy from a spinning shaft into electrical energy in a wire. The devices
used for these are called generators and alternators. The magnetic field can
be either provided from permanent magnets or electromagnets. Either the
coil of wire or the magnet can be the moving part while the other sits still.
Generators (also known as dynamos) make direct current (DC) and alternators
make alternating current (AC).
8.1.2 Alternators
DC generators are used to charge batteries in a remote home. Batteries can
be charged only using DC, and generators make it. DC generators are much
more complicated to design and build than AC alternators. The electricity
flow is changing in direction along with the changing magnetic fields. So, gen-
erators use a device called a commutator to keep the energy flowing in only
one direction. This is a mechanical rotating switch and is not easy to build.
Most generators use electromagnets to make the magnetic field for generat-
ing electricity. Modern DC generators also use permanent magnet instead of
electromagnets but a commutator is still needed to keep the energy flow in
unidirectional.
46
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
8.2 Wind Turbine Alternators
In a wind turbine smooth power is not produced. Usually wind turbine manu-
facturers build their own alternators to match the power curve of their blades.
DC generators are hardly used along with wind turbines. For good results, the
output power curve of the alternator has to be matched with the input power
curve from the blades and the spinning shaft. The match is fairly simple to
accomplished can be very efficient when the shaft rpm and the torque are con-
stant. However, wind speeds are not constant, so matching the wind speeds
will be a compromise. The range of rpm and torque input from the spinning
shaft that the the alternator design will be most efficient must be decided by
the designer.
8.2.1 RPM
It is easier to make electricity from a fast spinning shaft than from a slow
spinnig shaft since the output power is directly proportional to the speed.
Even though the low rpm shaft carries the same amount of kinetic energy,
more of it will be in torque than in speed. An alternator to make electricity
from a low rpm shaft will be larger and more expensive than its high rpm
counterpart. Thus rpm plays an important role when the design of a wind
electric generator is to be done.
8.2.2 Permanent Magnets v/s Electromagets
When alternators with electromagets are used, a part of the power output goes
to them to provide the electric field. The flow of current to the load takes place
only after the electromagnets are magnetized. Also brushes or slip rings are
required to take the electricity produced by the armature windings. Another
problem with the alternators using electromagnets is that when they fail during
the operation the wind turbine will be free spinning, with nothing to extract
the energy coming in. Such a condition can be dangerous and can even lead
to the total failure of the system. Therefore permanent magnet generators are
best suited for low speed applications like wind systems.
47
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
8.3 Experimental Analysis of Different Generators
The fact that permanent magnets are more efficient than the electromagnets
was ascertained by conducting various experiments on different types of gen-
erators and motors.
8.3.1 Experiment on a Universal Motor
Universal motors are unique motors that can be run using both AC and DC
supply. They are most commonly found in mixers. A universal motor when
given a field excitation will run as a generator. To test this aspect of the motor
an experiment was done where we used an external DC supply to produce a
magnetic field within the universal motor. An induction motor connected to an
autotransformer was used as the prime mover. The autotransformer is used to
vary the speed of the induction motor. The rotor was rotated using the prime
mover at various speeds and the output was observed through an oscilloscope.
8.3.1.1 Inference
• The universal motor was made to work as a generator and the various
voltage and current magnitudes at various speeds where studied.
• The Universal Motor produces voltage when an external excitation is
applied to the field.
• The output voltage increases when the field current increases.
• This system is not suited for electricity generation from the wind.
8.3.2 Experiment on Squirrel-Cage Induction Motor
The idea of this experiment was to convert a squirrel cage induction motor into
an induction generator and to study the output produced at various speeds. A
420rpm squirrel cage induction motor was acquired and converted to a gener-
ator to observe the power generated by it at various speeds. A 2HP induction
motor connected to an autotransformer was used as the prime mover for this
48
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 8.1: Experimental setup to test a squirrel cage induction motor.
experiment. The squirrel cage motor was coupled with the prime mover on a
work bench and the output wires connected to an oscilloscope. Ideally, induc-
tion motors behave as generators when the rotor is rotated at a speed greater
than their synchronous speeds. When the set up was run at a speed greater
than 420rpm without using any external excitation, the squirrel cage motor
produced very little voltage. But when an external voltage of 30V was applied
to the windings and the rotor rotated at a speed greater than 420rpm, an
output of about 90V was obtained. The experimental setup is shown in figure
8.1.
The voltage gain was later observed to be due to transformer action as the
squirrel cage motor was a dual speed motor with two sets of running windings
and thus the voltage, ie the excitation voltage, on the high speed winding
was induced in the slow speed running winding from which the output was
observed.
8.3.2.1 Inference
Squirrel cage induction motors are not suitable as wind electric generators
as external excitation is required. For standalone systems producing limited
power they are not the ideal generators.
49
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 8.2: Magnets placed on the rotor of a squirrel cage induction motor.
8.3.3 Conversion of Induction Motor to PMG
The idea of this experiment was to convert a squirrel cage induction motor
into a permanent magnet generator and study the output at various speeds.
An exhaust fan motor (squirrel cage induction motor) was acquired and
slots were cut into the rotor of the motor to hold magnets. In an ongoing
effort to reduce environmental impact by reusing materials, these magnets were
sourced from old hard disks. Hard Disk magnets are neodymium magnets and
are very powerful. They were mounted on the rotor of the fan motor.
The converted PMG, when rotated using the prime mover, produced volt-
age at even very low speeds. The magnets were placed in such a way that the
rotor and the stator magnetic field do not get locked and get cogged. Cogging
occurs when the stator poles and rotor poles are equal in number or are integer
multiples of each other. The stator had four poles and thus the magnets where
arranged in a way as to give ten poles on the rotor. The setup is seen in figure
8.2.
The advantages of using such a generator is:
• Voltage is produced even at very low speeds.
• External excitation is not required to produce power.
8.3.3.1 Open Circuit Test on the PMG
The PMG was run using a 2HP motor and the output was observed at various
speeds. The PMG produced upto 50 V at a speed of 800 rpm. Even at low
speeds of 100 or 200rpm the PMG was capable of producing power. The values
of the open circuit voltages for different speeds are measured and recorded.
50
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
These results were used to plot a graph which gives the relationship between
speed and the open circuit voltage.
The open circuit is done by running the PMG at different speeds without
any load connected to it. Thus it gives the maximum voltage that it can
produce without the load. The speed, which is a major part of the system is
what determines the voltage.
The measurement of voltage can be done using multimeters or voltmeters.
Since no load is connected, the actual voltage produced at the output is ob-
tained through this one experiment. The results are shown in figure 8.3.
Figure 8.3: Voltage versus RPM test on PMG.
The graph shows the variation of output voltage with speed. From the
graph it is seen that the output voltage increases with increase in speed of the
prime mover. Thus the power output from the generator is directly dependent
on the speed of the prime mover.
8.3.3.2 Load Test on the PMG
The PMG was loaded using a 50 ohm rheostat and a 1K resistor. The speed
was kept constant at 220rpm throughout the test and the values of load current
were tabulated to draw the graph. As seen from the graph the load current
decreases as the load decreases (voltage increases). The results are shown in
51
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
figure 8.4.
Figure 8.4: Load test on PMG.
8.4 Conclusion
Experiments were done on various motors to convert them into generators
and check their performance for application in this project. The universal
motor and induction generator were found to be unsuitable, as they require a
field excitation for producing voltage. The conversion of induction motor to
permanent magnet motor yields greater power at lower speeds when compared
to the other options. Thus it has been concluded that permanent magnet
alternators are best suited for wind energy applications.
52
9. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE
PERMANENT MAGNET GENERATOR
9.1 Introduction
Permanent magnet generators are the most effecitive to be used in wind electric
systems. This chapter decribes the design and construction of the axial flux
permanent magnet generator used in this project.
9.2 Rotor
The rotor is the rotating part of the generator. It contains the permanent
magnets, which are the source of flux for power generation.
9.2.1 Design of the Rotor
There are two magnetic rotors in the axial flux PMG, with magnets placed
on one of them, the other left blank. The rotor discs are made of plates of
mild steel. Mild steel is chosen because ferrous metals concentrate and channel
magnetic fields, and the rotors are placed such that the flux is concentrated
and channeled into the space where the coils are placed, producing maximum
flux linkage. If the magnets for the rotor are mounted on wood instead of steel
plates, the power output would be less than half of the power from steel magnet
rotors at any rpm. The discs are 6mm thick with a diameter of 150mm.
The magnets used are neodymium-iron-boron magnets (rare earth mag-
nets) 2 inches long, length, 1 inch wide and 1/2 an inch thick. The magnets
are face polarized, and are positioned on the rotor so as to alternate the north
and south poles. The 12 poles are placed at 30 degree intervals around the
53
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.1: Neodymium magnets.
disk. The magnets positioned using a template cut from plywood. The tem-
plate is a 12 inch diameter disc, with four 12mm holes to match those of the
rotor disk, and 12 equally spaced cutouts in which to place the magnets.
9.2.2 Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets available today.
They are made from rare earth elements, and are therefore sometimes referred
to as “rare earth magnets.” The strength of these magnets can be very dan-
gerous if handled improperly.
9.2.2.1 Identifying the Poles of Neodymium Magnets
There are 3 different ways in which the poles of a magnet can be identified.
• Using a simple directional compass, the north and south poles of the
magnet can be easily found out.
• The simplest way is to use another Neodymium magnet that is already
marked. By virtue of magnetic properties, the North Pole of the marked
magnet will repel the North Pole of the unmarked Neodymium magnet
and attract the South Pole.
• Dangling a magnet by a string so that it is free to rotate will cause the
north pole of the magnet to point south (being attracted to the Earth’s
south pole).
54
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
9.2.2.2 Attributes of Neodymium Magnets
There are several attributes of Neodymium magnets that differentiate them
from other magnets.
• Neodymium magnets have a very high resistance to demagnetization.
This makes them very useful in many different kinds of industrial appli-
cations.
• They work in ambient temperature conditions, and do not require special
handling.
• Neodymium magnets, unlike other high strength magnets such as tiny
cobalt-samarium magnets, have a high flux-to-cost ratio, making them
cost effective for experimenters with limited budgets.
• Neodymium magnets are easily corroded and hence have to be handled
carefully. They are supplied with a coating of chromium for protection
from the elements.
• Neodymium magnets demagnetize at around 80

C, and the dust made
from cutting them is highly inflammable.
9.2.3 Placing the magnets
The plywood template is put on one of the steel discs and the 1/2 inch holes
are lined up. The screws on the rotor are adjustable so that the air gap can
be changed. The output voltage varies with change in the air gap.
Figure 9.2: Template placed on the rotor disc.
55
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
The magnets were then placed in the slots of the template, and stuck to
the rotor with the help of Araldite, an epoxy adhesive. This is shown in figure
9.3. The rotor disc after placing the magnets is shown in figure 9.5.
Figure 9.3: Placing the magnets on the rotor disc.
Figure 9.4: Workbench.
9.2.4 Preparing the Mould
The design used in this project employs fibre glass cloth to help strengthen the
castings. Two rings were cut from the fibre glass mat with diameter slightly
56
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.5: The finished rotor disc.
greater than that of the rotor. The interior of the mould was coated with
mould release compound (automotive grease). This facilitates the removal of
the finished casting. A bead of caulk was run around the interior seams of the
mould, to protect against leakage.
9.2.5 Casting the Rotor
Polyester resin was used for casting the rotor. The resin was first mixed with
an accelerator (a cobalt solution) and silica powder. The rotor was then placed
inside the mould, and a plywood core was placed in the center. Just before
pouring the resin, adequate hardener (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide or MEKP)
was added and the resin was mixed thoroughly. Then the resin was poured
into the mould and a fibre glass cloth placed on top of the casting as shown
in figure 9.6. The fibre glass cloth enhances the strength of the casting. Resin
was again poured over the magnets till the whole mould was filled. The whole
set up was then covered with a wooden plate and tightened with screws. It
was left to cure for about 12 hours.
After the resin was completely set up, the lid from the mould was removed
and the rotor cast is taken outside as shown in figure 9.7. The edges of the
casting were then smoothened and cleaned with a file and hacksaw blade.
9.3 Stator
The stator is the stationary part of the alternator, which contains the coils. It
has been configured to work as a 3 phase alternator, in which the wiring can
be switched from star to delta at ease.
57
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.6: Casting the rotor.
Figure 9.7: The casted rotor.
Each phase consists of three coils in series, with both ends exposed via
terminal bolts that protrude outside the casting.
9.3.1 Winding the Coils
The stator is a casting that contains and protects all nine coils of wire across
which the magnets spin. It is cast using the same resin as the rotor.
The template for the stator coil winding was designed according to the size
of the magnets. The stator coils were wound with 19 gauge copper wire, and
are each 5cm by 7cm in size. Each coil has 40 turns. The number of turns was
chosen such that the coil width does not exceed the width of the magnet. The
shape of the coil was adjusted such that maximum flux lines from the magnets
cut the stator coils when the rotor rotates, creating maximum emf the stator
windings. The stator windings are shown in figure 9.8.
9.3.2 Preparing the Mould
The mould for the stator was constructed out of layers of plywood. The mould
has an outer radius of 175 mm with a core at the centre of 75mm radius. The
58
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.8: Stator windings.
Figure 9.9: The rotor and stator moulds.
core creates a hole where the rotor hub will fit and rotate relative to the stator.
The mould was greased and all joints were sealed with silicone caulk, as
was the rotor mould.
Six holes were drilled in the mould lid to accomodate the six terminals
bolts (two from each phase) from which the outputs are taken. The moulds
are shown in figure 9.9.
9.3.3 Casting the Stator
After placing the stator coils into the mould, the resin mixed with the hardener
is poured into the mould and is allowed to cure for 12 hours. The casted stator
is shown in figure 9.10. After the resin has hardened the stator cast containing
the stator coils with the six terminals is taken out and filed to bring it to a
proper shape.
59
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.10: The casted stator.
Figure 9.11: Coils placed in the stator mould.
9.3.4 Connecting the Stator Coils
The stator coils were placed inside the mould with the three coils of each
phase connected in series placed 120 degrees apart as shown. The ends of
the coils from each phase were connected to the terminals as shown on figure
9.11. These terminals from the three phases can be star or delta connected
to obtain different configurations. The output can also be obtained from each
phase directly. The output voltages obtained from these three phases will have
a phase difference of 120 degrees between them.
Star connections are used for low speed applications, whereas for high
speed, the delta connection is preferred.
9.4 Assembly and Testing of the PMG
The rotor containing the magnets was fixed onto the hub, which carries all
the moving parts via four lengths of all-thread. The stator was bolted directly
onto the spindle weldment which is the base for the whole system. The stator
was carefully brought as close as possible to the magnetic rotor, to reduce the
60
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure 9.12: The generator on the work bench after assembly.
air gap. The second rotor was lowered very carefully along the bolts to the
other side of the staor. The magnetic forces attract the second rotor to the
magnetic one and thus the alignment must be done very carefully. The whole
setup was adjusted to bring the airgap to a minimum. The experimental set
up is shown in figure 9.12.
9.4.1 Selection of Load
The power from a wind electric generator is not constant and varies with
the wind speeds. So this power cannot be fed into an electrical appliance
directly. Most wind electric generators are attached to asynchronous loads.
The various asynchronous loads include battery banks, remote communication
equipment, cathodic protection for buried pipelines, and direct space heating
or domestic hot water heating applications. The best option which requires
less maintenance is using a lead acid battery as the load. The output from the
wind electric generator is thus fed into the battery which charges the battery.
The battery can be further used for applications like room lighting.
9.4.2 Converting AC to DC
The three-phase AC output from the wind turbine alternator is often called
‘wild AC’ because the frquency and voltage vary with the alternator’s rpm,
and therefore with the wind speed. This wild AC cannot be used to power
61
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
the electrical appliances, so it is converted to DC and used to charge batteries.
Loads can use the charged battery as a power source. A commomly used power
converter is a three phase bridge rectifier.
Each output wire from the three phases of the alternator are connected to
the full wave bridge rectifier and the DC output leads are directly connected
to the battery through a diode. The diode is connected to prevent the back
flow of current whhen the battery is not being charged.
9.4.3 Testing of the Generator
Various tests were conducted to determine the available output, the efficiency
and the loading charateristics of the generator.
9.4.3.1 Speed v/s Output Voltage
The generator was run and the output voltage at various speeds were noted.
A voltmeter was connected across the output terminals. The results are shown
in figure 9.13.
Figure 9.13: Open circuit voltage versus windspeed.
62
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
9.4.3.2 Load Test
The output terminals of the generator was loaded using a 55Ω rheostat and run
at a speed of 250rpm (corresponding to a windspeed of 4.17m/s). An ammeter
was connected in series with the load so as the get the load current flowing
through the circuit. A voltmeter was connected in parallel with the load and
the voltage at various loads were noted. The results are shown in figure 9.14.
Figure 9.14: Load test at 4.17 m/s equivalent windspeed.
9.4.3.3 Efficiency
As mentioned in section 3.9.2 the maximum power that can be derived by the
wind turbine blades from the wind is only 59.26% of the available power in
the wind. The power is even further lost in the rotating parts and in the shaft
connecting the blades to the generator. The maximum efficiency attained so
far by modern wind electric systems are about 45%. From the results of these
tests, it is estimated that this project has achieved almost 30%.
Available power developed by the blades at 4.1m/s = 50W
Power generated with a load of 55Ω = 14W
Efficiency of the system =
14
50
= 28%
63
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
9.5 Conclusion
The wind electric generator was designed as per the requirements of the site
and constructed to obtain a considerable amount of power. The system was
also tested under no load and full load conditions to study the performance
and the efficiency of the system was found to be 28%. Scope exists for further
modification, to improve the generator performance. Some suggestions are
given in section 10.2.
64
10. CONCLUSIONS
10.1 Project Synopsis
This project, the design and construction of a stand-alone micro wind electric
generator, has been a learning experience. Due to the able help and guidance of
all involved, no critical mistakes were made, and the project has been executed
without problems.
As part of this project, a wind resource assessment was carried out in the
Amritapuri Ashram for six months. The wind resources were found to indicate
favourable conditions for the installation of wind electricity generation systems,
but the short duration necessitates that the results be labelled as inconclusive.
The authors recommend that a conclusive wind study be undertaken, and that
Amritapuri begin to generate its electricity from the abundantly available free
and clean resources.
Blade design was found to be a vast subject in itself, and therefore a deep
study of blade design was not undertaken. Sufficient knowledge was gained,
however, to enable the authors to design the blades, and giving them an ad-
vantage in the subject for the future. The blades for the wind turbine were
dimensioned using Schmitz algorithms, and were created by carving them out
of wood. The blades were designed to incorporate stall control at high wind
speeds, as part of the redundant saftey control scheme.
The mechanical design was created, based on existing designs and unique
objectives for this project. Three dimensional models were created of each
part and assembled in Pro-Engineer. This process enabled the visualization
of the actual assembly process, and the evaluation of the design. In all, four
iterations of the design were created, the final iteration being selected for
manufacture. The drafts produced from the 3D models were used as a basis
for manufacturing the components.
65
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Designing and manufacturing the alternator was a very intensive process.
Plywood for the moulds were salvaged as scrap from a construction site in
Karunagappaly. Having no prior experience in resin casting, test casts were
made to understand the casting process. The results of the test castings
were very encouraging; they were found to be practically indestructable. The
moulds were created at Achu Furniture, borrowing their tools and workspace.
Casting of the stator and the rotor was done successfully, and the parts were
trimmed and cleaned.
Failure analysis was carried out on parts which were found to be under
excessive stress, and the design was found to be safe from all angles. The
blades will require re-tightening periodically while the wood stabilizes, for the
first few months of operation.
This project was undertaken to learn about and implement a small scale
renewable energy system. It is the hope of the authors that this will prove
fruitful now and in the future.
10.2 Future Projects based on this Platform
The proposed design for the Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator is
intended to serve as a base for further projects and research. It is envisioned
that this project will create a Wind Laboratory, for the exploration of renew-
able energy. The proposed design in this project uses a tilting tower, which will
enable two students to raise and lower the turbine for alterations frequently
and safely. Some suggestions are given below.
10.2.1 Doubling the Magnetic Flux
In the current configuration, the PMG has one rotor with magnets, while the
other is blank. By placing magnets on the other rotor as well, the magnetic
flux linkage will be increased many-fold. The magnets must be arranged on
the second rotor to be opposite the ones on the existing rotor, and attracting
poles should be arranged so that the flux is pulled through the stator.
66
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
10.2.2 Creating a New Stator
The stator of the permanent magnet generator can be replaced by another
stator with increased number of turns per coil. The emf induced in the coil
is directly proportional to the number of turns of the coil. Hence the output
voltage of the permanent magnet alternator can be increased by increasing the
number of turns per coil.
A good research project would be to create a number of stators with differ-
ent windings, and researching the wind turbine characteristics with different
stators.
The amperage output from the stator coils can be varied by replacing the
existing stator with a new one having stator coils of different gauges. A coil
wound from #18 copper conductor will have higher current carrying capacity
than a #21 copper conductor. At the same time, a stator incorporating more
turns of a higher guage number will attain operating voltages sooner.
10.2.3 Researching Different Blades
The blades used in this project were optimized for the mean windspeed, and di-
mensioned using Schmitz dimensioning. There are many other types of blades,
and many other profiles that can be used. A good project would be to test dif-
ferent types and sizes of blades and gain practical knowledge of the differences
in blade designs.
10.2.4 Creating a Maximum Power Point Tracker
The MPPT is a setup used to determine the optimum power that can be fed
to the load at a given power available in the wind. The load tries to absorb
maximum power it can take from the generator at all points of time. When
wind speeds are too low the load tries to absorb all the available power. This
makes the blades attached to the rotor stop rotating. This is called ‘stalling’.
In such situations the load should be cut off from the generator. Hence load
should be given to the generator only when the blades rotate above a given
speed. Above the cut off speed the load can be given to the generator till the
67
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
speed reaches a point where the load cannot take any further voltage. When
the generated voltage exceeds the maximum voltage that can be fed to the
load the supply is cut off and given to a dummy load. When the wind speeds
go dangerously high, the terminals all the three phases of the generator should
be shorted so that the blades stop rotating.
10.2.5 Implementing Active Pitch Control
The blade hub has been manufactured to allow the future inclusion of active
pitch control. A simple servo mechanism and required linkages can be inserted
to pitch the blades based on the rpm of the turbine. Power could be supplied
to the electronics using a small stationary magnet and a simple coil on the
rotor.
Alternatively, centrifugal force based pitch control could also be imple-
mented. The design is very versatile.
10.2.6 Using a Permanent Magnet DC Motor as a Generator
The design being modular, only one new part would need to be fabricated to
accomodate the permanent magnet DC motor, or any other similar generator
with a shaft. In the current design, the rear hub and spindle assembly of the
Maruti Esteem is used. To transfer the power to a spinning shaft, the front
hub assembly (drive hub) would be required, which will accomodate the blades
and blade hub in the existing configuration.
10.2.7 Investigation into the Furling Tail
The proposed design for this project incorporates a furling tail which has been
designed using rules-of-thumb, as given in section 6.4.1. Future students could
investigate the properties of the tail, experiment by varying the weight and
other dimensions, and develop emperical or analytical models. Such research
has been carried out by the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL)
in the USA, and the analytical model is downloadable as software from their
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Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
website. A correlation between the observed results and the existing software
model would be a worthy project.
10.2.8 System Modelling in Simulink
Simulink (or a PyLab-Works, an open source alternative to Matlab + Labview)
can be used to create a mathematical model of the system. Such mathematical
models are useful for analyzing performance parameters, testing innovations
and modifications, and for adapting the design to different scenarios.
System modelling is a growing field, and is used in increasingly more diverse
and widespread ways.
10.3 A Final Word
The state of our home planet, our only planet, is such that man’s influence on
globally sustaining systems can no longer be ignored: we are biting deep the
hand that feeds us. Through our greed, magnified by the economics of scale
and the legalized exploitation called globalization, our mistakes now have huge
consequences. It remains only to be seen whether we will wake up, or will carry
our greed to the impending grave of our (and many other) species.
In the future, the focus of production will be on locally sourced and locally
consumed goods and services, if we as a human race are to learn to live with
Nature. We must learn to serve our fellow travellers on this spaceship Earth;
the plans and animals alike.
The use of small scale power generation with renewable and clean sources
like wind is becoming more widespread. The establishment of such power
generation will remove communities from the energy gridlock, will encourage
energy savings, and will reduce fossil fuel usage. All of this will help our
continued stay on Blue Planet Earth.
69
BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] Global Wind Energy Consortium. Assorted Publications. (Available On-
line.) http://www.gwec.net
[2] Aleklett, Kjell et.al. ‘Energy Policy,’ Volume 38, Issue 3, Pages 1398–
1414, March 2010. (Available Online.) http://www.tsl.uu.se/uhdsg/
Publications/PeakOilAge.pdf
[3] Johnson, G.L. ‘Wind Energy Systems’, Manhattan KS, New York
[4] Fink D., Bartmann D. ‘Homebrew Wind Power’, Buckville Publications,
Colorado, 2009.
[5] Burton T., Sharpe D., et.al. ‘Wind Energy Handbook, John Wiley Pub-
lications, West Sussex.
[6] Graziani M., Fornasiero P. ‘Renewable energy resources and renewable
energy’ CRC Press
[7] Price G.F., Batvel T.D., et.al. ‘Design and Testing of a Permanent Magnet
Axial Flux Wind Power Generator’
[8] Kothari D.P., Bhatt T.S. ‘Evolution of Wind Power Technology: a Re-
view’,
[9] Stiebler M. ‘Wind Energy Systems for Electric Power Generation’
[10] Homemade Wind Generator. (Available on line.) www.otherpower.com
[11] Gasch R., Twele J. ‘Wind Power Plants: Fundamentals, Design, Con-
struction and Operation’. SolarPraxis AG, Berlin, 2002.
[12] Fink D., Bartmann D. ‘10-foot Axial Flux Wind Turbine Owner’s Man-
ual,’ Forcefield, 2007.
[13] Quaschining, V. ‘Understanding Renewable Energy Systems,’ EarthScan,
2006.
[14] Anderson, J.D. ‘Introduction to Flight 5e,’ Tata-McGraw-Hill, 2007.
[15] Manwell, J.F., et. al. ‘Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design, Applica-
tion,’ Wiley Publishers, 2002.
[16] Masters, G. ‘Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems,’ Wiley &
Sons, 2004.
70
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
[17] Anderson, J.D. ‘Aircraft Performance and Design,’ WCB-McGraw-Hill,
1999.
[18] Von Mises, R. ‘Theory of Flight,’ McGraw-Hill, 1945.
[19] Wise, J.N. ‘Optimization of a Low Speed Wind Turbine using Support
Vector Regression,’ University of Stellenbosch, 2008.
[20] Jischke, M.C. ‘On the Aerodynamics of Wind Turbine Blades,’ University
of Oklahoma.
[21] Olsen, T., et. al. ‘Low Wind Speed Turbine Project Conceptual Design
Study: Advanced Independent Pitch Control,’ NREL Subcontractor Re-
port, 2004.
[22] PyXFOIL (Available Online.) http://www.python-science.org/
project/pyxfoil
[23] MH-Aerotools, Aerodynamics for Model Aircraft. (Available Online.)
http://www.mh-aerotools.de/airfoils/index.htm
[24] XFOIL: Subsonic Airfoil Development System. (Available Online.) http:
//web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/xfoil/
[25] Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. ‘Design Databook,’ Kalaikathir
Achchagam, Coimbatore, 1968.
[26] PyLab Works, a free and open source replacement for LabView + MatLab.
(Available online.) http://code.google.com/p/pylab-works/
71
A. BILL OF MATERIALS & COST BREAKDOWN
Item Specification Quantity
Stainless steel all thread 12mm dia 3m
Stainless steel nuts 12mm 40
Locking nuts 12
Locking washers 12
Mild steel plates 6mm thick, 150mm radius 2
Stainless steel bolt 8mm dia, 4cm long 6
Steel band 5mm thick, 30 mm wide, 1.3m long 1
Insulated copper wire 19 gauge 1 kg
Neodymium magnets 2” ×1” ×1/2” 10
Epoxy resin 3.5 kg
Fiber glass 800 gm
Silica Powder 800gm
Nuts 8mm 36
Washers 8mm 72
Galvanized iron pipe 6”6m 1
Galvanized iron pipe 5”6m 1
Plywood 18mm 2 ×3 feet
Plywood 12mm 3 ×4 feet
Plywood 6mm 2 ×3 feet
Wood beams 2.5”4”80cm 7
Epoxy Paint Rust Proofing, Grey 1 litre
Thinner 1 litre
Grease White 500gm
Table A.1: Bill of Materials
72
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Item Cost
Esteem Hub — Second hand 350
Esteem Hub — New 1,250
Wood for Blades 1,700
Plywood for Moulds 315
Stainless Steel Hardware 2,900
Mild Steel Materials 1,400
# 19 Gauge Copper Wire 550
Neodymium Magnets 6,000
Polyester Resin and Fibre Mat 800
Linseed Oil 105
Epoxy Paint and Thinner 300
Grease 80
Calk 140
Workshop Fees 3,000
Carpenter’s Fees 3,000
Miscellanous Expenses 417
Total 22,307
Table A.2: Cost Breakdown. At the time of printing, the yaw weldment, tower,
tail, and anchor had not yet been created, and so are not included in this cost
breakdown.
73
B. DERIVATION OF EQUATIONS RELATED TO
BLADE DIMENSIONING
In this appendix, the equations used for Schmitz dimensioning of the blades,
and Betz limit, are derived, along with a few other formulæ that were found
useful in the course of this project.
Figure B.1 shows the velocity diagrams and angles that are referred to
below.
Figure B.1: The complete velocity diagram, used for Schmitz dimensioning of
the rotor. In this diagram, α
A
is the angle of attack, φ is the apparent wind
angle, v is wind speed, w is apparent wind speed, u
r
is the velocity of the blade
at this radius, and β is the blade twist from the horizontal.
74
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
B.1 Power in the Wind
The power available in a fluid flow (the wind) is equal to the rate of flow of
kinetic energy:
KE =
1
2
mv
2
∴ P =
˙
E =
1
2
˙ mv
2
now, ˙ m = ρAv
=⇒ P =
1
2
ρAv
3
For a system which extracts power from a flow, the power extracted comes
from the reduction in KE, as the fluid flows past the system. The freestream
velocity (v
1
) is slowed to the downstream velocity v
3
after passing through the
wind turbine. This is shown in figure B.2.
Figure B.2: Wind flowing through the wind turbine.
75
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
˙
E
ex
=
1
2
˙ m(v
2
1
−v
2
3
)
where, ˙ m = ρAv
2
Assuming, v
2
=
v
1
+ v
3
2
(Averaging)

˙
E
ex
=
1
2
ρA
v
1
+ v
3
2
(v
2
1
−v
2
3
)
Which becomes P =
1
2
ρAv
3
1

1
2
¸
1 +
v
3
v
1

¸
1 −

v
3
v
1

2
¸¸
The value of
v
3
v
1
varies with the design; in fact, it is a property of the design,
and remains constant over a range of wind speeds. However, it is not convenient
to accurately calculate or physically measure the value of v
3
. Therefore, the
term
1
2

1 +
v
3
v
1

¸
1 −

v
3
v
1

2

is represented as a coefficient of performance for
the blades, C
P
. Therefore, the equation for power extracted from the wind
turbine becomes:
P =
1
2
ρAv
3
1
C
P
(B.1)
B.2 The Betz Limit
Not all the power available in a fluid flow can be extracted. If it was, then
the downstream velocity would be reduced to zero, which means that the wind
entering the system would have nowhere to go, which is a physically impossible
situation.
The Betz limit is the theoretical maximum power that can be extracted
from the wind.
If we plot the C
P
versus
v
3
v
1
, we get the curve shown in figure B.3. This curve
clearly shows that the maximum power extractable is 59.26% of the available
power. Most wind turbines do not come close to this efficiency. Common
efficiencies for any wind turbine range around 20–40%.
76
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure B.3: C
P
versus
v
3
v
1
, showing the best possible value of C
P
.
B.3 Schmitz Dimensioning Formulæ
To dimension the blade, it is necessary to find the blade twist, and chord
for each section. This is facilitated by deriving relations for these that are
functions of the radial distance from the center of the hub.
Using figure B.1, the velocity of the blade (u
r
) is found to be given by the
following relation.
u
r
= rω +
∆u
2
Also, the angle of apparent wind to the plane of rotation (φ) can be seen
to be:
φ = 90 −γ
Where γ is the angle of apparent wind to axis of rotation.
In the wind velocity diagram, |w
1
| = |w
3
| due to viscosity and friction losses
as the wind passes through the turbine blades.
77
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Analysing for a circular ring element of one blade:
dL = ∆wd ˙ m
d ˙ m = 2πρv
2
rdr
dP = dmω
= du
r
ω
= dLsin(φ)rω
= ∆wd ˙ msin(phi)rω
Using elementary geometry, it is found that:
w = w
1
cos(φ
1
−φ)
v
2
= wsin(φ) = w
1
cos(φ
1
−φ) sin(φ)

dP = rωd ˙ m∆wsin(phi)
= r
2
ωρ2πdrw
2
1
sin [2(φ
1
−φ)] sin
2
(φ)
∴ P varies with φ
dP

= 0 =⇒ Maximum Power
These results are used to substitute into other formulæ in this derivation.
The Chord Length
The purpose of Schmitz dimensioning is to maximize the power available from
the blade element. To do this, the equation for elementary power is differen-
tiated and set to zero.
dP

= (r
2
ωρ2πdrw
2
1
)
¸
−2 cos [2(φ
1
−φ)] sin
2
(φ) + 2 sin [2(φ
1
−φ)] sin(φ)
¸
= 0
=⇒
dP

= sin(φ) sin(2φ
1
−3φ) = 0
This means that either:
sin(φ) = 0 =⇒ φ = 0,
π
2
(ridiculous), or
sin(2φ
1
−3φ) = 0 =⇒ φ =
2
3
φ
1
78
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Using this result for φ,
dL = d ˙ m∆w
= ρ2πrdrw
2
1
cos(φ
1
−φ) sin(φ) ×2w
1
sin(φ
1
−φ)
= ρ2πrdrw
2
1
sin
2

φ
1
3

cos
2

φ
1
3

(B.2)
From Airfoil theory, the lift dL is generated by a blade of chord c
T
in
accordance with the equation:
dL =
ρ
2
w
2
c
T
drC
L
(B.3)
Equating equations (B.2) and (B.3), we get:
c
T
C
L
cos
2

φ
3

2
= r2π sin [2(φ
1
−φ)] sin(φ)
Thus the formula for chord based on sectional distance from the center of
the hub and the coefficient lift of the section’s airfoil profile:
=⇒ c
T
(r) =
16πr
C
L
sin
2

φ
1
3

(B.4)
The Blade Twist
Again looking at figure B.1, the following relations are observed:
tan(φ
1
) =
v
1
u
r
=
v
1
ωr
=⇒ tan(φ
1
) =
λ
D
r
1
R
=
r
λ
D
R
∴ φ
1
= tan
−1

R
λ
D
r

The blade twist β can also be related as:
β = φ −α
A
=
2
3
φ
1
−α
A
∴ β =
2
3
tan
−1

R
λ
D
r

−α
A
(B.5)
79
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
B.4 Blade Tip Velocity w.r.t. Windspeed
Figure B.1 shows the various angles and speeds that the blade experiences
while rotating. The velocity of the blade u
r
is a function of the radius and the
freestream wind velocity, assuming that the tip speed ratio is maintained. This
assumption is valid when the wind turbine is properly loaded, which should be
100% of the time.
u
r
=
λ
D
r
R
×v (B.6)
B.5 Rotor RPM w.r.t. Windspeed
The rotor RPM is directly related to the windspeed via the Tip Speed Ratio.
Note that the wind turbine will not magically spin at an rpm which will main-
tain the TSR. The wind turbine, with no load, will spin at approximatly twice
λ
D
, the design TSR. When it is properly loaded by a tuned MPPT, however,
the wind turbine will slow to the design TSR, which will correspond to the
optimum power conditions.
The analysis and design of the wind turbine blades are carried out assuming
that it is loaded properly, and is rotating at the design TSR.
λ
D
=
Tip Velocity (v
t
)
Incoming Windspeed (v)
∴ v
t
= λ
D
v
also, v
t
= Rω
ω =
N ×2π
60
=⇒ v
t
= R
N ×2π
60
=⇒ λ
D
v = R
RPM ×2π
60
∴ N =
60λ
D
2πR
×v (B.7)
80
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
B.6 Reynould’s Number w.r.t. Windspeed and Radius
For using PyXFOIL in viscous mode to analyze the airfoil profile, we must
supply the Reynould’s number. This equation is useful to calculate it:
R
e
=
vc
ν
v = λ
D
v
1
r
R
∴ R
e
=
λ
D
v
1
rc

Since our wind turbine will be relatively close to sea level, we can take ν =
ν
s
= 1.33 ×10
−5
. Thus we get:
R
e
=
λ
D
v
1
rc
R ×1.33 ×10
−5
(B.8)
B.7 Mach Number w.r.t. Windspeed and Radius
PyXFOIL also accepts the Mach number, if available, for additional consider-
ation, in the viscous solution.
M
A
=
v

1.4R
g
T
To avoid confusion with the radius R, the Gas Constant has been represented
as R
g
. It’s value is R
g
= 289. Temperature has been assumed to be constant
at 300K. Since v = λ
D
v
1
r
R
, this gives us:
M
A
=
λ
D
v
1
r
R ×347.189
(B.9)
B.8 Summary
Equations (B.4) and (B.5) are the main equations used in Schmitz dimension-
ing. By selecting an appropriate angle of attack and obtaining the correspond-
ing coefficient of lift for each airfoil section, the required chord and blade twist
can be calculated for maximum power conditions.
All the equations contained in this chapter have been found to be indis-
pensable in the course of this project work.
81
C. THE MH100 FAMILY OF AIRFOILS
C.1 Introduction
The MH100 family of airfoils was developed by Mr. Martin Hepperle, and
are distributed for non-commercial purposes via his website, http://www.
mh-aerotools.de/airfoils/index.htm. These airfoils were developed specif-
ically for the purpose of creating a stall-controlled wind turbine, and were
adopted for the same purpose in this project.
The airfoils were analyzed in XFOIL, for conditions prevailing at each sec-
tion.
Figure C.1: The five airfoils of the MH100 family superimposed using the
calculated values of chord and twist.
82
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
C.2 MH102
The MH102 airfoil is meant to be used at the blade root. This analysis was
carried out with Re = 65915 and Ma = 0.0126.
The results selected α
A
= 1.7

, corresponding to C
L
= 0.5148 and
L
D
=
15.52.
83
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
C.3 MH104
The MH104 airfoil is meant to be used at a position 40% of the radius from
the hub. This analysis was carried out with Re = 142375 and Ma = 0.0126.
The results selected α
A
= 9.8

, corresponding to C
L
= 1.149 and
L
D
=
45.28.
84
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
C.4 MH106
The MH106 airfoil is meant to be used at a position 60% of the radius from
the hub. This analysis was carried out with Re = 142375 and Ma = 0.05.
The results selected α
A
= 8.6

, corresponding to C
L
= 0.9797 and
L
D
=
51.68.
85
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
C.5 MH108
The MH108 airfoil is meant to be used at a position 80% of the radius from
the hub. This analysis was carried out with Re = 113900 and Ma = 0.0727.
The results selected α
A
= 9.8

, corresponding to C
L
= 1.0582 and
L
D
=
38.41.
86
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
C.6 MH110
The MH110 airfoil is meant to be used at the tip of the blade. This analysis
was carried out with Re = 116105 and Ma = 0.091.
The results selected α
A
= 9

, corresponding to C
L
= 0.9638 and
L
D
= 43.39.
87
D. DRAFTS OF MECHANICAL PARTS
The following pages contain drafts which were used as blueprints for the
construction of the Wind Turbine. Most of the drawings were generated in
Pro-Engineer using the PDF export option, and were remastered in Inkscape
to fit in this report. The plots of the Airfoils were created using PlotFoil, an
open source package written by Shamim P. Mohamed, licensed under the GNU
General Public License.
88
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.1: The draft of the profiles used in the blade.
89
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.2: Draft showing the end view of the blades, and the placement of
airfoil sections.
90
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.3: The Blade Rotor, to which the blades are attached. Note that
space has been provided to allow for future inclusion of active pitch control.
91
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.4: The Magnetic Rotor disk. Two such disks were made.
92
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.5: The PMG Stator. This is a resin casting with copper coils con-
tained inside it.
93
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.6: The rear wheel hub of a Maruti Suzuki Esteem. This hub was
chosen as the basis for our design.
94
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.7: The Spindle Weldment. The spindle is from hardened steel, a part
of the Maruti Suzuki Esteem rear hub assembly.
95
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.8: The Yaw Mount Weldment. The smaller inclined rod is for the
tail to swing on.
96
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.9: The Furling Tail.
97
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.10: The Tower. The tower is designed to tilt down on the fulcrum
pin.
98
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.11: The Ground Anchor for the Tower. One side is open to enable
the tower to tilt down.
99
Stand Alone Micro Wind Electric Generator
Figure D.12: The Fulcrum Pin. This pin must bear the entire weight of the
structure, and the vertical component of the tension in the guy wires.
100

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