International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.42, No.30, 19420-19431, 2017
A comprehensive analysis of solidity for cambered darrieus VAWTs
Wind energy technology has seen steady growth in the energy market as a clean, renewable source of energy. This has brought attention to areas with moderate wind energy potentials. Darrieus type Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) allow capturing of this potential for energy production at a cost-effective scale. To improve the performance of these turbines their design needs to be optimized. With better manufacturing methods currently available cambered blades are being investigated to improve the performance of these turbines. In particular, turbine solidity is investigated in this paper due to different airfoil chord lengths and different number of blades. The analysis is conducted following high fidelity CFD modeling in unsteady, turbulent regimes in Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulation accounting for the sliding/rotating rotor's domain configuration that emphasizes the role of rotor blades interaction. The study showed that low solidity turbines with cambered blades operate at low coefficients of performance (C-p) over a large range of tip speed ratios (TSRs). High solidity turbines, with solidity close to unity, have much higher C-p, but at smaller TSRs and a short range of TSRs. Medium solidity turbines, as well as turbines with solidity greater than unity, are faced with considerable interaction which compromises their operation at TSRs as low as one. The larger chord length helps improve the torque production of the turbine. The change in number of blades leads to a large dispersed wake behind the rotor which is unfavorable for deployment of an array of turbines. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.