Development of Computational Fluid Dynamic model of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine using the ALM approach



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Energy Production is a major challenge for the future. With the rapid depletion of fossil fuels and massive increase in energy consumption, energy production needs to be diverted to renewable and clean energy sources such as the Wind. Therefore, developing better methods and designs for turbines that can efficiently extract power from this renewable source is highly crucial for the upcoming times. Recently, Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) have gained continuously increasing attention due to some of their unique yet understated advantages over the conventional Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs). However, unlike HAWTs, the complex flow physics associated with VAWTs have not been extensively explored. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) serves as a very sophisticated and economically favorable tool to understand the fluid dynamics of VAWTs as it provides an alternative to the prolonged process of prototyping at every stage of the study. Using the Actuator Line Method (ALM), a CFD model of a VAWT was built to compute lift and drag forces acting on different sections of the blades of the VAWT based on the incoming wind flow and the relative angle of attack that the blades experience. These lift and drag forces were later transformed into the horizontal and vertical components of the forces experienced by the blades as this is the required input for the Large Eddy Simulations (LES). This research will energize a significant amount of VAWT research being conducted by the Dr. Yang’s research group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.