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Keywords:

  • wind energy;
  • stirred tank;
  • vertical axis wind turbine;
  • computational fluid dynamics;
  • laser Doppler anemometry

Abstract

A system for the conversion of kinetic energy of wind into thermal energy has been developed which can replace relatively expensive electro-mechanical equipment. The system consists of a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) which is coupled with the shaft of a stirred vessel. In the present work, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations have been performed for the flow generated in a stirred tank with disc turbine (DT). The predicted values of the mean axial, radial and tangential velocities along with the turbulent kinetic energy have been compared with those measured by laser Doppler anemometry (LDA). Good agreement was found between the CFD simulations and experimental results. Such a validated model was employed for the optimisation of drag-based VAWT. An attempt has been made to increase the efficiency of turbine by optimising the shape and the number of blades. For this purpose, the combination of CFD and experiments has been used. The flows generated in a stirred tank and that generated by a wind turbine were simulated using commercial CFD software Fluent 6.2. A comparison has been made between the different configurations of wind turbines. Results show that a provision in blade twist enhances the efficiency of wind turbine. Also, a wind turbine with two blades has higher efficiency than the turbine with three blades. Based on the detailed CFD simulations, it is proposed that two bladed turbine with 30° twist shows maximum efficiency. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering