Influence of airfoil maximum thickness on aerodynamic performance of vertical axis wind turbines

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Abstract

Airfoil shape can significantly influence the aerodynamic performance of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs). However, while the symmetric NACA airfoil series are widely used for VAWTs, the effect of parameters, which define the shape of an airfoil, on the aerodynamic performance of VAWTs has not yet been extensively studied. The current study, therefore, intends to systematically investigate the effect of airfoil maximum thickness tm on the aerodynamic performance of VAWTs for different tip speed ratios (λ). Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) calculations are performed on high-resolution gird. The results show that the optimum tm decreases from 24%c (airfoil chord) to 12%c when λ increases from 2.5 to 5.5. As higher λ corresponds to lower variations of angle of attack (α) of the blades, the better performance of thinner airfoils at such λ is associated to their higher Cl/Cd at such α. Higher stall angle could explain the higher CP of thicker airfoils at low λ. The current findings could support the optimization of airfoils for VAWTs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWinercost18 - The International Conference On Wind Energy Harvesting, 21-23 March 2018, Catanzaro Lido, Italy
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2nd International Conference on Wind Energy Harvesting (WINERCOST 2018) - Best Western Plus Hotel Perla del Porto, Catanzaro Lido, Italy
Duration: 21 Mar 201823 Mar 2018
Conference number: 2
http://winercost18.eu/

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Wind Energy Harvesting (WINERCOST 2018)
Abbreviated titleWINERCOST 2018
CountryItaly
CityCatanzaro Lido
Period21/03/1823/03/18
Internet address

Keywords

  • wind energy
  • wind turbine
  • vertical axis wind turbine
  • aerodynamics
  • CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)
  • characterization
  • optimization

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