The aerodynamic control of the v-type vertical axis wind turbine

Robotham, Antony John (1989). The aerodynamic control of the v-type vertical axis wind turbine. PhD thesis The Open University.



The V-type vertical axis wind turbine (V-VAWT) is of simple design and construction, has a low aerodynamic efficiency, yet its originators consider that it will be a cost effective configuration in electricity generation applications. However, the quality and reliability of its power output must be ensured; this necessarily requires continual control of rotor speed and power.

The initial V-VAWT investigations of Sharpe and Taylor, and methods of wind turbine control are reviewed. Partial-span pitch angle variation is considered the most promising option, and the systematic investigation of this control method in V-VAWT applications is reported. This work includes the design, construction and performance testing of a small V-VAWT with pitching blade tips. The tests showed that rotor power can be regulated with small blade tip areas, however, correlation between the measured and theoretical results was not good. Wind tunnel test were undertaken to determine the characteristics of the NACA0025 aerofoil used for the model blades. Performance predictions using this data showed better correlation between experimental and- theoretical results. This has allowed the theoretical model to be used with confidence for predicting the performance of larger V-VAWTs with partial-span pitch control. A theoretical model of the dynamic behaviour of a V-VAWT generator integrated with an electricity supply network has been developed and embodied in the computer program DYNVAWT. This program has allowed the dynamic behaviour of a 5kW sized V-VAWT to be simulated, and an active control strategy developed. The simulation studies show that active partial-span pitch control ensures the quality and reliability of the electricity supply can be maintained even when the V-VAWT is operating in turbulent wind conditions.

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