Aerodynamics of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines : Development of Simulation Tools and Experiments

Sammanfattning: This thesis combines measurements with the development of simulation tools for vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT). Numerical models of aerodynamic blade forces are developed and validated against experiments. The studies were made on VAWTs which were operated at open sites. Significant progress within the modeling of aerodynamics of VAWTs has been achieved by the development of new simulation tools and by conducting experimental studies.        An existing dynamic stall model was investigated and further modified for the conditions of the VAWT operation. This model was coupled with a streamtube model and assessed against blade force measurements from a VAWT with curved blades, operated by Sandia National Laboratories. The comparison has shown that the accuracy of the streamtube model has been improved compared to its previous versions. The dynamic stall model was further modified by coupling it with a free vortex model. The new model has become less dependent on empirical constants and has shown an improved accuracy.    Unique blade force measurements on a 12 kW VAWT were conducted. The turbine was operated north of Uppsala. Load cells were used to measure the forces on the turbine. A comprehensive analysis of the measurement accuracy has been performed and the major error sources have been identified.The measured aerodynamic normal force has been presented and analyzed for a wide range of operational conditions including dynamic stall, nominal operation and the region of high flow expansion. The improved vortex model has been validated against the data from the new measurements. The model agrees quite well with the experiments for the regions of nominal operation and high flow expansion. Although it does not reproduce all measurements in great detail, it is suggested that the presented vortex model can be used for preliminary estimations of blade forces due to its high computational speed and reasonable accuracy.