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Effect of dynamic stall on the aerodynamics of vertical-axis wind turbines

Brown, Richard and Scheurich, Frank (2011) Effect of dynamic stall on the aerodynamics of vertical-axis wind turbines. AIAA Journal, 49 (11). pp. 2511-2521. ISSN 0001-1452

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Accurate simulations of the aerodynamic performance of vertical-axis wind turbines pose a significant challenge for computational fluid dynamics methods. The aerodynamic interaction between the blades of the rotor and the wake that is produced by the blades requires a high-fidelity representation of the convection of vorticity within the wake. In addition, the cyclic motion of the blades induces large variations in the angle of attack on the blades that can manifest as dynamic stall. The present paper describes the application of a numerical model that is based on the vorticity transport formulation of the Navier–Stokes equations, to the prediction of the aerodynamics of a verticalaxis wind turbine that consists of three curved rotor blades that are twisted helically around the rotational axis of the rotor. The predicted variation of the power coefficient with tip speed ratio compares very favorably with experimental measurements. It is demonstrated that helical blade twist reduces the oscillation of the power coefficient that is an inherent feature of turbines with non-twisted blade configurations.