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Investigations of a building-integrated ducted wind turbine module

Dannecker, R.K.W. and Grant, A.D. (2002) Investigations of a building-integrated ducted wind turbine module. Wind Energy, 5 (1). pp. 53-71. ISSN 1095-4244

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So far, wind energy has not played a major role in the group of technologies for embedded generation in the built environment. However, the wind flow around conventional tall buildings generates differential pressures, which may cause an enhanced mass flow through a building-integrated turbine. As a first step, a prototype of a small-scale ducted wind turbine has been developed and tested, which seems to be feasible for integration into the leading roof edge of such a building. Here an experimental and numerical investigation of the flow through building-integrated ducting is presented. Pressure and wind speed measurements have been carried out on a wind tunnel model at different angles of incident wind, and different duct configurations have been tested. It was confirmed that wind speeds up to 30% higher than in the approaching freestream may be induced in the duct, and good performance was obtained for angles of incident wind up to ±60°. The experimental work proceeded in parallel with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. The geometry of the system was difficult to represent to the required level of accuracy, and modelling was restricted to a few simple cases, for which the flow field in the building-integrated duct was compared with experimental results. Generally good agreement was obtained, indicating that CFD techniques could play a major role in the design process. Predicted power of the proposed device suggests that it will compare favourably with conventional small wind turbines and photovoltaics in an urban environment.