Experimental and Numerical Investigation on Vertical Axis Wind Turbine in Search for an Efficient Design

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2015)




The continuous improvement of this world is based on technological advancement. And the technological advancement is directly related to the utilization of energy. The demand of energy is creeping up every day due to increase of population, industrial and agricultural advancement. But the conventional energy sources are becoming limited which is ultimately making them more expensive. In addition to this, everyone is concerned about global climate change. This whole scenario is pushing the world to find the alternative sources of energy. Alternative sources involve natural phenomena such as sunlight, wind, tides, plant growth, and geothermal heat. Solar and Wind power are the most popular among the various sources of renewable energy.

Wind alone can fulfill most of the energy requirement of the world by its efficient conversion in to energy. Though Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) is more popular but needs high wind speed to extract energy from the wind. On the Other hand Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) can run at low wind speed, independent of wind direction and can be installed anywhere with cheapest cost. The main objective of this research is to improve the design and performance of VAWT to make it more attractive, efficient, durable and sustainable. For a VAWT, the blades perform the main role to extract energy from the wind. Airfoil is considered as the blade for this new design of VAWT. Airfoil has some good aerodynamic characteristics, matches with the characteristics of Savonious type VAWT, such as good stall characteristics and little roughness affect, relatively high drag and low lift coefficient. Three dimensional CAD models of various simple airfoils have been designed in Solidworks. Using these airfoils CFD simulation has been performed for five different VAWT designed models. Moving mesh and fluid flow simulation have been performed using CFD software FLUENT. The findings of these numerical simulations provided pressure contour, velocity contour, drag coefficient, lift coefficient, torque coefficient and power coefficient for all these models. From the results it can be concluded that NACA7510 airfoil VAWT model gives the better performance at higher Tip Speed Ratio (λ) than other models.