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Renewable Energy 31 (2006) 17761788 www.elsevier.

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On the performance analysis of Savonius rotor with twisted blades


U.K. Saha , M. Jaya Rajkumar
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati-781 039, India Received 1 March 2004; accepted 6 August 2005 Available online 21 October 2005

Abstract The present investigation is aimed at exploring the feasibility of twisted bladed Savonius rotor for power generation. The twisted blade in a three-bladed rotor system has been tested in a low speed wind tunnel, and its performance has been compared with conventional semicircular blades (with twist angle of 01). Performance analysis has been made on the basis of starting characteristics, static torque and rotational speed. Experimental evidence shows the potential of the twisted bladed rotor in terms of smooth running, higher efciency and self-starting capability as compared to that of the conventional bladed rotor. Further experiments have been conducted in the same setup to optimize the twist angle. r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Savonius rotor; Twisted blade; Starting characteristics; Static torque; Coefcient of performan ce

1. Introduction Savonius rotor is a unique uid-mechanical device that has been studied by numerous investigators since 1920s. Applications for the Savonius rotor have included pumping water, driving an electrical generator, providing ventilation, and agitating water to keep stock ponds ice-free during the winter [14]. Savonius rotor has a high starting torque and a reasonable peak power output per given rotor size, weight and cost, thereby making it less efcient [5]; the coefcient of performance is of the order of 15% [6,7]. From the point of aerodynamic efciency, it cannot compete with high-speed propeller and the
Corres ponding author. Tel.: +91 361 2691085; fax: +91 361 2690762. E-mail address: saha@iitg.e rnet.in (U.K. Saha). 0960-1481/$ - see front matter r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.renene .2005.08.030

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Nomenclature A AR Cp d H N P1 R R1 R2 r S TB U r a y Z projected area of rotor, m aspect ratio, H/d 3 coefcient of performance, P1/(1/2rAU ) blade chord (2r), mm blade height, mm rotational speed of rotor, RPM shaft power (2pNTB/60), W tip radius of semicircular bladed rotor, mm top tip radius of twisted bladed rotor, mm bottom tip radius of twisted bladed rotor, mm blade arc radius, radius of brake wheel, mm gap width, mm brake torque, Nm mean stream velocity in x-direction, m/s 3 density of atmospheric air, kg/m twist angle (deg) Orientation angle (deg) 3 efciency, P1/(0.593 1/2rAU )
2

Darrieus-type wind turbines. Various types of blades like semicircular, bach type [810], Lebost type [11,12] have been used in vertical axis wind turbine to extract energy from the air, however, no attempt so far has been made to reduce the negative torque, and increase the starting characteristics and efciency with the changes in the air direction. The use of deecting plates [8,13] and shielding to increase the efciency has not only made the system structurally complex, but also dependent of air direction. In view of this, a distinct blade shape with a twist for the Savonius rotor has been designed, developed and tested in the labora tory [14,15]. Preliminary investigation has shown good starting characteristics of the twisted blades. 2. Brief overview of past work Numerous investigations have been carried out in the past to study the performance characteristics of two and three bucket Savonius rotor. These investigations included wind tunnel tests, eld experiments and numerical studies. Blade congurations were studied in wind tunnels to evaluate the effect of aspect ratio, blades overlap and gap, effect of adding end extensions, end plates and shielding [8,10,1618]. Vishawakarma [4] attempts to discover an alternate energy option for water pumping, which can be cost-efcient, environment friendly and sustainable. Two types of installations viz., low-speed wind turbines operating piston pumps, and high speed wind turbines driving rotary pumps have been studied. Kumar and Grover [6] have investigated a case study of a Savonius rotor for wind power generation. Mojola has investigated eld tests of Savonius rotor where data were collected for speed, torque, and power of the rotor at a large numbers of wind speeds at different overlap ratio [12]. Detailed experiments have been conducted by some

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investigators to increase the output of a Savonius rotor by using a ow deecting plate [13,20]. The aerodynamic performance was also studied by Fujisaw and Gotoh [19] from the blade surface pressure distribu tions at various rotor angles and tip-speed ratios. Fujisaw and Gotoh [21] studied the power mechanism of Savonius rotor by pressu re measurements on the blade surface and by ow visualization experiments. Modi and Fernando [18] have described a mathematical model based on the discrete vortex method to predict the performance of a stationary and a roto tary Savonius conguration. Table 1 shows the details of the experiments carried out with varying tunnel dimensio ns, Reynolds number and tip speed ratio. The data obtained from the recent investigations [14,15] have been included in the table along with the data available in the published literature [13]. 3. The present study In the present investigation, the twist angle of the blade was varied from a 01 to 251 and the performance of the rotor was studied in a low speed wind tunnel to nd the optimum twist angle. It is worth mentioning here that the blade with a twist of a 01 corresponds a semicircular blade. All the tests were carried out in a three-bladed system with blade aspect ratio of 1.83. Performance studies of the rotor system have been made on the basis of starting characteristics, static torque, rotational speed and coefcient of perfo rmance. 3.1. Blade manufacture The blades of Savonius rotor fabricated from galvanized iron sheets are attached to a central shaft held between the two bearings in framework. The schematic diagram of developed blades is shown in Fig 1. In either case, the blades are having an aspect ratio (H/ d) of 1.83, where H and d are the height and the blade chord, respectively. The main geometric parameters are the blade chord ( 120 mm), blade height ( 220 mm) and the twist angle (a). The semicircular (a 01) shape of the blade has been made on a rolling machine. The radius of the rota tion R is measured from axis of rotation to the outer edge of the blades. Twisted blade (a 1012251) under present investigation has a tip radius R1 measured from the tip of the blade to the axis of rotation, whereas root radius R2 is measured from the root of the twisted blade (Fig. 2). Each blade has a mass of 126.5 g. 4. Experimental setup The experiments were carried out in an open circuit wind tunnel (Fig. 3) with the exit section of 0.375 m 0.375 m in cross section [15,28,29]. The air speed at the tunnel exit (wind speed) could be varied from 6 to 12 m/s. A single block dynamometer was used to measure the static torque, while a digital tachometer (with an accuracy of 71 RPM) measured the rotational speed (RPM) of the rotor. A thermal velocity probe anem ometer (with an accuracy of 70.1 m/s) was used to measure the air velocity. The rotor consisted of blades rolled from sheet metal and attached to a central vertical shaft held between two bearings in the framework. The rotor axis was kept at a distance of 200 mm from the tunnel exit (Fig. 3).

Table 1 Performance of Savonius /S-shaped rotor Aut hors Year of study 1978 1978 1978 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1986 1992 1992 2002 2004 Type of rotor Savonius Savonius Savonius Savonius Savonius Savonius S-shaped Savonius S-shaped S-shaped Twisted Savonius Twisted Savonius Rotor dia (m) 1.000 1.000 0.383 0.076 0.700 0.120 0.164 0.175 0.175 0.185 0.185 0.280 0.250 Rotor height (m) 1.500 1.500 0.460 0.060 1.400 0.150 0.162 0.300 0.300 0.320 0.320 0.22 0.220 Wind tunnel dimensi ons (m m) 4.9 6.1 closed sec 4.9 6.1 closed sec Closed sec 0.305 0.305 closed sec 3.5 2.5 closed sec 0.46 0.46 open jet 0.76 m dia open jet 0.8 0.6 open jet 0.8 0.6 open jet Free stream velocity (m/s) 14 14 69 29.224.6 8 18 10 7 7 Reynol ds Tip speed 5 number 10 ratio 9.3 8.67 1.532.32 1.041.25 2.83.7 1.44 0.871.09 0.81 0.81 0.081.5 1.5 1.327 1.327 0.85 0.65 0.49 0.78 0.70 0.75 0.680.72 0.86 0.86 0.680.71 0.650.72 0.669 0.6523 Correct ed max. Cp (%) 19.5 15 including frictional power 12.5 18.118.5 12.512.8 20 1415 17 21.2 15.217.5 1721 11.59 excluding frictional power 13.99 excluding frictional power

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Sheldahl et al. [16] (twobladed rotor) Sheldahl et al. [16] (three-bladed rotor) Alexander and Holownia [17] Baird and Pender [23] Bergless and Athanassiadis [24] Sivasegaram and Sivapalan [25] Bowden and Mc-Aleese [26] Ogawa and Yoshida [27] without deector Ogawa and Yoshida [27] with deector Huda et al. [13] without deector Huda et al. [13] with deector Grinspan [15] (twist of 101) Raj Kumar [22] (twist of 12.51)

0.5 m dia open jet 6.512.25 0.5 dia open jet 0.375 0.375 open sec 0.375 0.375 open sec 12.25 8.22 8.23

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R1 R R2 120 r S S

Top view of semicircular bladed rotor

Top view of twisted bladed rotor

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the developed blades.

Y-axis yaxis =10.28 x x =10.28

Height (H) = 220 mm

x 60 mm xaxis zaxis Chord = 120 mm Section at X-X Z-axis

60 mm Chord = 120 mm Section at XX

X-axis

Fig. 2. Schematic diagrams of semicircular and twisted blades.

5. Results and discussion A series of experiments have been carried out with semicircular and twisted types of Savonius wind turbine rotor in a three-bladed system. All the tests were conducted at a room temperatu re of 25 1C. Performance studies of the rotor system in both the cases have been made on the basis of starting characteristics, No load speeds, static torque, torque coefcient, coefcient of performance and efciency. The difference of experime ntal condition such as the tunnel blockage effect, the Reynolds number, the rotor conditions and experimental uncertainty makes difcult to compare quantitat ively all the researc hers works. Frictional losses should be taken into account as they may affect performance of small models substantially. Hence, series of experiments have been conducted in the set up to compare the results of semicircular and twisted blades.

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450 mm 769 mm 750 mm 2.42H Coarse screen Honey comb Fine screen Setting chamber Contraction cone (8:1)

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Diffuser Fan section

240 mm Bearing Housing

508 mm

8H

Twisted bladed Savonius Rotor

Fan A.C. Motor 20-deg

3500 mm

920 mm

Fig. 3. Schematic diagram of the wind tunnel with Savonius rotor. 500 450 400 350 300

RPM

250 200 150 100 50


0 deg 10 deg 12.5 deg 15 deg 20 deg 25 deg

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 Time - Sec Fig. 4. Starting characteristics at wind speed, U 10 m=s.

5.1. Starting characteri stics The starting characteristics of the twisted bladed rotor at various twist angles (a) at a wind speed of U 10 m=s is shown in Fig. 4. The rotor with semicircular blade (a 01) attains RPM of N 232 in 5 s, while all other twisted bladed rotor goes beyond 350 RPM, thereby indicating a better starting characteristics of twisted bladed rotor. The rotor with

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a 12:51 shows a maximum value of N 365 in 5 s. It can also be seen from the plot that after 20 s, the difference in RPM between the twisted bladed and semicircular bladed rotors is more than 20. Thus, at a wind speed of U 10 m=s, twist angle of 12.51 is preferable. It stands to reason that for the semicircular blade, the maximum force acts centr ally (curvature center) and vertically. Whereas for the twisted blade, the maximum force moves towards to the tip of the blade because of the twist in the blade. Due to these changes, a twisted blade gets a longer moment arm, and hence a higher value of net positive torque. Moreover, with the increase of twist angles, the energy capture in the lower part of the blade reduces drastically as compared to the upper part, and hence the net positive torque reduces. When tested at a wind speed of U 8 m=s, blades with a 12:51 and 151 show similar starting characteristics over the entire range of time (Fig. 5), and thus found to be superior than the semicircular bladed rotor. The starting characteristics at a wind speed of U 7 m=s shows an optimal twist angle of 151 as seen from Fig. 6. The effect of twist angle at various airspeeds can be studied from Fig. 7. It has been observed that higher twist angle captures more energy at lower airspeeds and vice versa. Furtherm ore, the starting characteristics are better at higher airspeeds than at lower airspeeds for all the twist angles. Three-bladed semicircular Savonius rotor is well known for its self-starting characteristics and it has been improved by providing a twist to these blades. Semicircular blades are taken as zero angle of twist, and by increasing the angle, the performance of the Savonius rotor is increased in its starting characteristics and static toque. 5.2. No-load speeds Variation of no-load RPM with the wind speed is shown in Fig. 8. There is a sharp rise in speed at U 6:528 m=s. Blade with a 151 shows maximum rise in RPM than a
450 400 350 300

RPM

250 200 150 100 50 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 Time - Sec


0 deg 10 deg 12.5 deg 15 deg 20 deg 25 deg

Fig. 5. Starting characteristics at wind speed, U 8 m=s.

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250

200

RPM

150 100

50

0 deg 10 deg 12.5 deg 15 deg 20 deg 25 deg

0 0 5 10 15 20 25 Time - Sec Fig. 6. Starting characteristics at wind speed, U 7 m=s.

500 10 m/s 450 400 350 300 7 m/s 8 m/s

RPM

250 200 150 100 50 0 0 5 10 15 Time - sec 20 25

Fig. 7. Starting characteristics at wind speed, U 7; 8; 10 m=s.

12:51 in the range of U 6:528 m=s. However, a 12:51 gives a better performance than a 151 in the range of U 8210 m=s. It is evident that larger twist angle is preferable in the lower range of wind speed for producing maximum power and better starting

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500

400

RPM

300
0 deg 10 deg 20 deg 12.5 deg 25 deg

200

15 deg

100

0 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 Wind Speed, m/s 10 10.5

Fig. 8. Variation of RPM with velocity for twisted bladed rotor at various twist angles.

12.5 deg 340 320 300 280 260 240 220 200 180 12.5 deg 140 160 0 deg 0 0.07 20 40 0.06

0 deg

Torque Nm

60 80 100 120

0.05 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.01 0

200

240

280

120

Angle deg

Fig. 9. Static torque vs. orienta tion angle diagram at U 10:17 m=s.

characteristics. Thus, from starting acceleration and maximum no load speed characteristics, a 151 becomes the optimal angle at low velocity of 6.5 m/s. Further, with the increase of twist angles (from a 151 to 251), the energy capture in the lower part of the blade reduces dras tically. 5.3. Static torque diagram comparisons The static torque of the rotors has been measured at 201 intervals for one complete revolution as shown in Fig. 9. The area under T y diagram for twisted blade shows a larger area as compared to the semicircular bladed rotor. The static torque coefcient of

160

320

40

80

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Fig. 10. Static torque coefcient for various twisted bladed Savonius rotor at U 10 m=s.

Co-eff of Torque Co-eff of Torque

0.16 0.14 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120 Angle, deg 0 deg 10 deg 12.5 deg 15 deg

Fig. 11. Shipment of stall angle for various twisted bladed rotor at wind speed U 10 m=s.

semicircular and twisted blades (a 02151) in a three-bladed rotor system is shown for 1201 orientat ion (Fig. 10). The stalling angle of twisted blade is found to be shifted by 251 with the increase in angle of twist from a 0 to 12.51 (Fig. 9). It can also been seen from Fig. 11 that with the increase of twist angles, the stalling angle shifts further. Moreover, the twisted blade shows a maximum peak torque and a lesser falling slope, and hence a greater area than the semicircular blades (Fig. 9). It is clear that the Savonius rotor is not selfstarting at three specic positions. Due to friction, these models are not developing sufcient powers to start rotation. However, by measuring frictional tare torque with an air motor, it is possible that at every angle of orien tation the rotor will develop some static torque as observed by Sheldahl et al. [16]. This stalling problem can be avoided by making two stages of rotor one above the other with a stagger of 601. Due to this, the starting capability would be higher, thus giving a higher torque and efciency as compared to the semicircular bladed rotor. There is a wide variation of static torque coefcient with angular

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Cp

0.08 0.04 0 0

4 6 8 Wind Speed, m/s

10

12

Fig. 12. Variation of coefcient of performance with velocity for various twisted bladed rotors.

position of rotor. Thus, to initiate rotation, the aerodynamic torque must exceed combined load and friction torques for a rotor from any angular position. This implies that the minimum value of static torque coefcient may be the deciding factor controlling the size and stacks of the Savonius rotor [30]. 5.4. Coefficient of performance comparison Fig. 12 compares the performance of the Savonius rotor with different twist angles at various airspeeds. From the performance viewpoint, a 151 is superior at lower wind velocities, whereas a 12:51 is suitable at higher velocities. Maximum coefcient of performance, C p 13:99 is found at tip speed ratio of l 0:65 (U 8:23 m=s) and for semicircular bladed rotor is giving C p 11:04 at the same velocity. 6. Conclusions In summary, wind tunnel studies show the potential of the Savonius rotor with twisted blades in terms of smooth running, higher efciency and self-starting capability as compared to that of the semicircular bladed rotor. The principal observations of the present ndings can be briey stated as under: For the twisted blade, the maximum force moves towards to the tip of the blade because of the twist in the blade. Due to these changes, a twisted blade gets a longer moment arm, and hence a higher value of net positive torque. Moreover, with the increase of twist angles, the energy capture in the lower part of the blade reduces drastically as compared to the upper part, and hence the net positive torque reduces. Three-bladed semicircular Savonius rotor is well known for its self-star ting characteristics and it has been improved by providing a twist to these blades. Semicircular blades are taken as zero angle of twist, and by increasing the angle, the performance of the Savonius rotor is increased in its performance. Larger twist angle is preferable in the lower wind velocity for producing maximum power and better starting characteristics. The twist angle a 151 gives opti mum

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performance at low airspeeds of U 6:5 m=s in terms of starting acceleration and maximum no load speed. The stalling angle of twisted blade is found to be shifted by 251 with the increase in angle of twist from a 01 to 12.51, and it has been found that the stalling angle shifts further with the increase of twist angle. This stalling problem can be avoided by making two stages (stacking) of rotor one above the other with a stagger of 601. Due to this, the starting capability would be higher, and hence a higher torque and efciency as compared to the semicircular bladed rotor. Twisted blade with a 151 shows a maximum of C p 13:99 and Z 23:6 at tip speed ratio of l 0:65 (i.e., at U 8:23 m=s), whereas the semicircular blade (a 01) shows a C p 11:04 and Z 18:67 at the airspeed. This signicant raise of Cp and efciency are inevitable to further proceeding in this area.

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