Vertical-axis wind turbines have great potential for harvesting energy with high conversion efficiency both in small-scale distributed installations and in the emerging floating offshore technology; nevertheless, their complex unsteady flow field makes design and optimization very challenging. This paper documents an extensive CFD study on a H-shaped VAWT over the entire range of operation. First, a direct 2D-3D comparison of the prediction capability of CFD models over the entire turbine operational curve is presented, highlighting the range of operation in which 3D effects become crucial and, instead, the range of TSR for which a 2D approximation is acceptable. The simulations are systematically compared to a wide and accurate experimental data set of wind-tunnel experiments in controlled conditions. The combination of CFD results with measured data allowed to assess the turbine performance and time-resolved velocity measurements in the wake. Furthermore, the paper proposes a totally novel approach in analysing the computed non-periodic unsteadiness in the wake. Finally, a tracking of the unsteady tip vortex is also proposed, with remarkable similarity to experimental results documented in the literature. This fact suggests that URANS discretization permits to approximate the dynamic and evolution of the tip vortex, at least in the near wake region.

Three-dimensional unsteady aerodynamics of a H-shaped vertical axis wind turbine over the full operating range

Persico G.;
2020

Abstract

Vertical-axis wind turbines have great potential for harvesting energy with high conversion efficiency both in small-scale distributed installations and in the emerging floating offshore technology; nevertheless, their complex unsteady flow field makes design and optimization very challenging. This paper documents an extensive CFD study on a H-shaped VAWT over the entire range of operation. First, a direct 2D-3D comparison of the prediction capability of CFD models over the entire turbine operational curve is presented, highlighting the range of operation in which 3D effects become crucial and, instead, the range of TSR for which a 2D approximation is acceptable. The simulations are systematically compared to a wide and accurate experimental data set of wind-tunnel experiments in controlled conditions. The combination of CFD results with measured data allowed to assess the turbine performance and time-resolved velocity measurements in the wake. Furthermore, the paper proposes a totally novel approach in analysing the computed non-periodic unsteadiness in the wake. Finally, a tracking of the unsteady tip vortex is also proposed, with remarkable similarity to experimental results documented in the literature. This fact suggests that URANS discretization permits to approximate the dynamic and evolution of the tip vortex, at least in the near wake region.
2D-3D VAWT performance Prediction
Experimental assessment
URANS modeling
VAWT
VAWT wake unsteadiness
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1146671
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