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DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE WAKE STRUCTURE OF A STRAIGHT-BLADE H-DARRIEUS WIND TURBINE BY MEANS OF WIND TUNNEL EXPERIMENTS AND CFD SIMULATIONS

[+] Author and Article Information
Alessandro Bianchini

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, Via di Santa Marta 3, 50139, Firenze, Italy
bianchini@vega.de.unifi.it

Francesco Balduzzi

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, Via di Santa Marta 3, 50139, Firenze, Italy
balduzzi@vega.de.unifi.it

Giovanni Ferrara

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, Via di Santa Marta 3, 50139, Firenze, Italy
giovanni.ferrara@unifi.it

Lorenzo Ferrari

Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56122, Pisa, Italy
lorenzo.ferrari@unipi.it

Giacomo Persico

Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4, 20156, Milano, Italy
giacomo.persico@polimi.it

Vincenzo Dossena

Dipartimento di Energia, Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4, 20156, Milano, Italy
vincenzo.dossena@polimi.it

Lorenzo Battisti

Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, Università di Trento, Via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento (TN), Italy
lorenzo.battisti@unitn.it

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037906 History: Received July 05, 2017; Revised July 19, 2017

Abstract

Darrieus Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) have been recently identified as the most promising solution for new types of applications, such as small-scale installations in complex terrains or offshore large floating platforms. To improve their efficiencies further and make them competitive with those of conventional horizontal axis wind turbines, a more in depth understanding of the physical phenomena that govern the aerodynamics past a rotating Darrieus turbine is needed. Within this context, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can play a fundamental role, since it represents the only model able to provide a detailed and comprehensive representation of the flow. Due to the complexity of similar simulations, however, the possibility of having reliable and detailed experimental data to be used as validation test cases is pivotal to tune the numerical tools. In this study, a two-dimensional U-RANS computational model was applied to analyze the wake characteristics on the mid plane of a small-size H-shaped Darrieus VAWT. The turbine was tested in a large-scale, open-jet wind tunnel, including both performance and wake measurements. Thanks to the availability of such a unique set of experimental data, systematic comparisons between simulations and experiments were carried out analyzing the structure of the wake, and correlating the main macro-structures of the flow to the local aerodynamic features of the airfoils in cycloidal motion. In general, good agreement on the turbine performance estimation was constantly appreciated.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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