CUED Publications database

Optimizing the energy output of vertical axis wind turbines for fluctuating wind conditions

McIntosh, SC and Babinsky, H and Bertényi, T (2007) Optimizing the energy output of vertical axis wind turbines for fluctuating wind conditions. Collection of Technical Papers - 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 23. pp. 16202-16214.

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The control of a wind turbine to the mean wind speed in a gusty wind results in very poor performance. Fluctuations in wind speed with time constants shorter than the response time of a wind turbine results in operation away from optimum design conditions. The effectiveness of a turbine operating in a gusty wind is shown though the use of an unsteady performance coefficient, C e. This performance coefficient is similar in form to a power coefficient. However in order to accommodate unsteady effects, Ce is defined as a ratio of energy extracted to the total wind energy available over a set time period. The turbine's response to real wind data is modelled, in the first instance, by assuming a constant rotational speed operation. It is shown that a significant increase in energy production can be realized by demanding a Tip Speed Ratio above the steady state optimum. The constant speed model is then further extended to incorporate inertial and controller effects. Parameters dictating how well a turbine can track a demand in Tip Speed Ratio have been identified and combined, to form a non-dimensional turbine response parameter. This parameter characterizes a turbine's ability to track a demand in Tip Speed Ratio dependent on an effective gust frequency. A significant increase in energy output of 42% and 245% is illustrated through the application of this over-speed control. This is for the constant rotational speed and Tip Speed Ratio feedback models respectively. The affect of airfoil choice on energy extraction within a gusty wind has been considered. The adaptive control logic developed enables the application of airfoils demonstrating high maximum L/D values but sharp stalling characteristics to be successfully used in a VAWT design.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Fluid Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron job
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 14:12
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 16:39