A Fundamental Study of Advance Ratio, Solidity, Turbine Radius, and Blade Profile on the Performance Characteristics of Vertical Axis Turbines (VATs)
Norman, Adam Edward
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In this dissertation, various VAT parameters are investigated to determine the effect of the overall efficiency of the turbine at a high Reynolds number. To increase the efficiency of the vertical axis turbines, 2D CFD simulations are completed in an effort to better understand the physics behind the operation of these turbines. Specifically, the effect of advance ratio, solidity, and wake interactions were investigated. Simulations were completed in OpenFOAM using the k-ω SST turbulence model at a nominal Reynolds number of 500,000 using a NACA 0015 airfoil. To simulate the motion of the turbine, Arbitrary Mesh Interfacing (AMI) was used. For all of the parameters tested, it was found that the geometric effective angle of attack seen by the turbine blades had a significant impact on the power extracted from the flow. The range of effective angles of attack was found to decrease as the advance ratio increased. In spite of this, a severe loss in the power coefficient occurred at an advance ratio of 2.5 during which the blade experienced dynamic stall. This effect was also seen when the number of turbine blades was changed to four, at a solidity of 1.08. This negative impact on performance was found to be due to the increase in the drag component of the tangential force when dynamic stall occurs. Results indicate that wake interactions between subsequent blades have a large impact on performance especially when the wake interaction alters the flow direction sufficiently to create conditions for dynamic stall. To improve the performance of the VAT in the presence of dynamic stall, calculations were completed of a static twisted blade profile using GenIDLEST and OpenFOAM. There was found to be no improvement in the lift coefficient when comparing the twisted blade profile with a 2D blade at the same median angle of attack as the twisted blade. To further see the effects of the twisted blade, an effective VAT pitching motion was given to the blade and again compared to a 2D blade with the same motion. In this case there was significant improvement seen in the performance of the twisted blade.
- Masters Theses