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Conference Proceeding

Publication Date




A dynamic computer model of a turbine was developed in MATLAB in order to study the behavior of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) with variable pitch (articulating) foils. The simulation results corroborated the findings of several empirical studies on VAWTs. The model was used to analyze theories of pitch articulation and to inform the discussion on turbine design. Simulations of various models showed that pitch articulation allowed Darrieus-style vertical axis wind turbines to start from rest. Once in motion, the rotor was found to accelerate rapidly to very high rotational velocities. The simulations revealed a plateau region of high efficiency for small-scale Darrieus-style VAWTs with symmetric airfoils at tip speed ratios in the range of 3 to 4 and demonstrated the advantages of using a dynamic generator load.

Copyright Statement

This document was originally published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1115/IMECE2013-65694