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Vertical Axis Wind Turbines for Future Large Offshore Farms

Principal Investigator: Philippe Chatelain, Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering (iMMC), Louvain School of Engineering (Belgium)
HPC Platform: Jugene of JSC

A better understanding of wind turbine wake dynamics is a key to efficiently drive the development of wind energy and the associated size increase of wind farms. The wake is the region of lower mean wind velocity and increased turbulence downwind of a wind turbine. This flow feature is inherent to the very extraction of energy from the wind and is characterised by powerful swirling structures known as vortices. In the development of the next generation of very large offshore machines, the vertical axis (VAWT) concept has shown several structural advantages over its horizontal axis counterpart. The aerodynamics and wakes of VAWTs, however, are not as well understood as they are fundamentally different and based on unsteady phenomena. There have been indications that the VAWT aerodynamics produces a faster wake decay and could allow a denser arrangement of turbines in a farm, leading to a higher energy production. The project, led by assistant professor Philippe Chatelain of the Louvain School of Engineering, works to carefully characterize the behaviour of VAWT wakes. The vortex dynamics and decay of the wake will be investigated with a single machine (shown in the figure above). Larger simulations at the scale of a farm will assess the claims about the more favourable interactions between VAWT generators and thus VAWT’s role as gamechanging technology.

Vertical Axis Wind TurbinesCopyright: Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Assistant Professor Philippe Chatelain
Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering (iMMC), Louvain School of Engineering
Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Place du Levant 2 box L5.04.03, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

September 2013