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VAWT or HAWT

Which is the more efficient type of wind turbine?

R.D

Period 2

1 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

Contents
Abstract..................................................................2
Introduction*...........................................................3
Materials.................................................................6
Methods..................................................................8
Results..................................................................14
Discussion.............................................................17
Conclusion............................................................18
Bibliography..........................................................19

Abstract
This experiment compared four wind turbines of two different types a
Giromill VAWT, a low-Solidity HAWT, a high-solidity HAWT, or a VAWT 5000
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

2 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

to see what the most efficient type of wind turbine was. A HAWT is a wind
turbine that spins horizontally, or with one wing going from the top to the
bottom. A VAWT is the opposite whereas the wings spin vertically, or from
left to right .This was achieved by building the four wind turbines using
materials from http://www.kidwind.com such as pre-cut airfoil-shaped balsa
wood, DC motors, dowels and cylindrical hubs with holes to place the
turbine wings on. Once they were complete, they were placed on either a
PVC stand with the drive shaft holders aligned vertical for a VAWT so it can
spin freely, or a wooden stand with a plastic mounts with the drive shaft
holders facing vertically for a HAWT so it can spin freely. These were placed
levelly in front of a box fan which was set on high, medium, or low. This
resulted in the low-solidity HAWT to spin fast enough to generate an average
of 78 watts, 325% more than the runner up at 24 watts, which was a HAWT.
This directly contradicted my hypothesis which stated that the Giromill would
outperform the HAWTs. My results supported the popular belief that a HAWT
is better than a VAWT when it comes to energy output and efficiency due to
the lack of the variables involved in building an efficient VAWT.

Introduction*
Electricity. Electricity is the fuel of economies, the employee-of-themonth of factories, and the lubricant of the gears of the world. However, for
every light you turn on, you cast a shadow. Just like every bottle of grease,
electricity may run out if we continue to get it the way we do: with fossil
fuels. However, unlike a bottle of grease, there are alternatives to get energy
that will light up these shadows: solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy, but
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

3 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

not all are created equal. Overall, a wind turbine emits a brighter light than
solar energy when it comes to lighting the shadow of global warming (as
analyzed by students during the UC Davis COSMOS,2012 which was posted
at), and wind energy has a lack of maintenance compared to hydroelectric
energy (Hydro-vs wind, 2013). Due to these pros, I decided to pursue wind
energy as my science fair to try to find the most efficient form of power. In
order to pursue this goal, I compared the two largest types of wind turbines:
Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) and Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT).
From these two branches, I took two turbines (Giromill, VAWT 5000, highsolidity, and low-solidity) for a total of four turbines. From there I formulated
a
hypothesis
from
equations
in
http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/other/23-wind-turbine and the book
Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment. If we compare the
energy effectiveness of different models of wind turbines, then a low solidity wind turbine would generate the most energy. I arrived to this
conclusion due to equations from the essential laws of motion and physics.
In order to calculate the amount of wind power for a HAWT, we take
fundamental equations of motion, kinetic energy (energy produced by
movement), and aerodynamics. Under acceleration, the kinetic energy (E) of
an object is equal to force times distance (d) E=f D . According to

Newtons Law, force is equal to mass (m) times acceleration (a) F =m a .


Therefore, kinetic energy is equal to mass times acceleration E=ma . Due to
V
V
a slightly modified version of the third equation of motion

( 1)2
( 2)
2d

a=
2

(Final velocity=v2, initial velocity=v1, d=distance), and the fact that the initial
V
2
( 2)
velocity is 0, we get that
. If we substitute this equation with the first
2d
a=

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

4 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

V
2
( 2)
equation, we get
. We also can take the equation for mass flow
1
E= m
2

rate, f = pAv

whereas f=mass flow rate, p= air density, a= swept area, and

Table from VAWT vs. HAWT

v=wind speed. We could combine it with our previous one. Therefore we get
1
the equation P= 2 pAv0.59 (The 0.59 is Betzs limit, the maximum amount
a HAWT can produce). From this equation we can estimate that my turbine
can produce 11.39926894 kilowatts or about 11399268 watts. (Formula,
2012).
However, this is only if it works seamlessly and reaches Betzs limit,
which it probably will not due to the simple airfoil which only creates a basis
for the Bernoullis principle: a flat side and a round side. An air foil is any
surface, as a wing, aileron, or stabilizer, designed to aid in lifting or
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

5 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

controlling an aircraft by making use of the air currents through which it


moves. . The aerodynamics of such objects hugely impacts all turbines; its
not strictly for airplanes. An approximation of the airfoil shape coordinates
for the Kid Wind (where I have gotten most of my materials) is attached on
the board for any more clarifications. This is extremely hard to analyze, so
this experiment had to rely on external research.
The battle between
HAWT and VAWT has been a topic of all renewable energy researchers since
the first VAWT in 1891. Large companies leading the wind industry like
AELOS have been researching this, and made a table. (See above) (VAWT VS
HAWT, 2014) It favors the VAWT due to how compact and quiet it is. This
sharply contrasts with the general public and my estimates. When you think
of wind-turbine, you think of the classical three-bladed VAWT. Another
source, (HAWT vs VAWT), favors HAWT, for according to them, a VAWT is 40%
less efficient since HAWT turbines capture more wind due to elevation. Both
make good points, and both show how the battle between VAWT and HAWT
depends on the turbine, which is why this experiment uses the average of
two. Wind turbines require hefty background information on aerodynamics
and the laws of motion and energy
It all boils down to one question: VAWT or HAWT. For every light
you turn on, you create a shadow. A brighter light creates a darker shadow
but makes the room brighter. When it comes to making a smaller shadow,
position is everything. The angle of the light affects the shadow like how the
angle of a wing of a turbine affects its performance. The shape of a light
affects the shadow like how the shape of an airfoil affects the efficiency of a
turbine. Wind energy is a fan to blow away the darkness of the smoke weve
already put in our atmosphere. This experiment can place the blades to blow
more and more smoke away. The worlds fate relies of renewable sources of
energy, and now we can finally find the alpha source of wind power to create
the strong gust that will finally remove climate change forever.

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

6 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

Materials
1. 8 sheets of 30.5cm tall, 7.7 cm wide, 3mm thick balsa wood sheets

2. 13 sheets of 30.5 cm tall, 7.7 cm wide, with an airfoil thickness(see


below) balsa wood

sheets
3. 16 12.7cm long,.5 cm wide cylindrical dowels
4. 2 Kidwind b1 dc motors
5. 1 Surebonder DT270 dual temp glue gun
6. 2 Stanley dual temp glue sticks(r)
7. 1 Stanley 99E box cutter
8. 2 Kidwind Wind turbine Hub
9. 1 1x0.5 meter sheet of scrap undefinable woodish cardboard mix
10. 1 125cm long 1.2 cm wide PVC pipe
11. 3 1.2 cm PVC Ts
12. 4 1.2 cm PVC elbows
13. 3 green 32 teeth gear
14. 2 green 8 tooth spindle
15. 1 blue Kidwind Nacelle

a.

2 molded blue plastic sections

b. 2 10.2cm bolts
c. 4 wing nuts
d. 4 hex nuts
e. 8 small screws
f.

2 plastic holders

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

7 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

16. 2 steel drive shafts


17. 1 multitier
18. 1 100 resistor
19. 2 alligator clips
20. 2 jumper cables

21.
22.
24.
25.
26.
27.

2 2 x 4 interlocking wood boards with hole


1 61 cm monopole tow23. 1 35cm box
1 13 cm PVC pipe
6 gold rubber bands
1 bun steamer
5 cups of water

Side view

Top view

28. 1 PVC pipe Cuter


29. 1 1 meter table
30. 1 box fan
31. 1 plastic spacer
32. 1 gear key
33. 1 TI84 graphing calculator
34. 1 Black and Decker Drill
35. 1 circular Saw
36. 1 circle of scrap cardboard
37. 1 13 cm diameter Black PVC pipe

Methods
1. Prebuild
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

8 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

a. A c q u i r e Materials from Kidwind.com b. Acquire PVC from


Lowes
c. Gather tools and all scrap materials from Home
2. Building
a. W o o d Stand

i.

place 2x4s together

ii.

Hammer in wood shaft

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

9 | VAW T o r H AW T ?

b.

Nacelle

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

10 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Screenshots from Kid wind .com.


C.PVC stand

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

11 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

(Screen shots from Kidwind .com)


i.

Drill three holes in main shaft

ii. Slide in three aligned dowels with


holes for drive shaft.
d. V A W T 5000
i.
Cut WoodCardboard into a 10
cm diameter circle
ii.

Duplicate Circle on Cardboard

iii. Steam wood in steamer for 30


minutes

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

12 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

iv.
Wrap wood around 13 cm diameter PVC
inside. Let sit for 10 minutes
v.
Remove wood and rubber band them in the
shape Let sit overnight
vi.

Repeat steps 35 for optimal shape

vii.
Divide Cardboardwood Circle into 8
sections with sharpie
viii.
wood

Drill hole into center of Cardboard-

ix.
Tighten half of hub, tighten on
top, hub on bottom x.
Place drive
staff into hole
xi.

Place Gear

xii.

Place PVC stand e. VAWT Giromill

i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
f.

Glue two airfoil sheets together flat side to flat side


Drill hole in big airfoil
Glue dowel
Attach to hub
Attach to driveshaft
Attach to PVC stand

Low solidity HAWT


i.

cut five airfoil sheets in half

ii.

Glue dowel to sheet

iii.

Attach three to hub

iv.

Attach to driveshaft

v.

place on wooden stand

g. H i g h solidity HAWT
i.

same as low solidity, but with 6 wings

3. The test
A. Setup: See below

E
d
g
*For any more detailed sources
and citations, see bibliography.
e
B
of
o
tu
x

13 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

B. multitier see below

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

14 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

MULTIMETE
R
ON

MULTIMETER
ON
MAX

Motor

Motor
Re
si
st
o

Amps

C. set up spread sheet with formulas


D. Place fan on high for 30 seconds and record max on spreadsheet to find
Volts three times
E. Place fan on medium for 30 seconds and record max on spreadsheet to
find Volts Three times
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

Voltage

15 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

F. Place fan on low for 30 seconds and record max on spreadsheet to find
Volts Three times
G. Repeat for amps
H. Repeat D-G for all turbines

Results

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

16 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Average amount of volts produced by select balsa wood wind turbines on different powers of wind (20)
VAWT 5000

Giromill VAWT

Turbine typpes
Low Solidity HAWT

High Solidity HAWT

10

12

14

16

Volts produced

The energy Output of select Balsa wood windturbines on different levels of wind.
VAWT 5000

Giromill VAWT
Turbine Types
Low Solidity HAWT

High Solidity HAWT


0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

WATTS Generated

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

90

17 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Amps produced by select balsa wood wind turbines on different powers of wind(20)
VAWT 5000

Giromill VAWT
Turbine Ypes
Low Solidity HAWT

High Solidity HAWT


0

10

15

20

25

Amps produced

Discussion
This experiment tests the effectiveness of Wind Turbines of two types:
VAWT and HAWT. The results were clear, the best HAWT beat the VAWT 5000
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

18 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

by 975% in wattage. When it came to producing amps the HAWT only beat
the VAWT by 182% (see table). This shows that although the VAWT 5000
generates a fair amount of amps (how much electricity) it doesnt have as
much force that voltage provides to amounts to the mealy amount of
WATT. My hypothesis, which stated that the Giromill VAWT would outperform
all the other wind turbines due to my mathematical equation.
However, the Giromill was too heavy and would not spin. This is an
important factor when it comes to the efficiency of a wind turbine. Weight
will affect how fast the turbine would spin. This probably is the reason the
low-solidity wind turbine out-performed the others. Friction was another
factor. When the VAWT 5000 spun, it would create friction against the PVC.
This caused it to spin slower, and made it generate less electricity. The
biggest factor was aerodynamics, which decides the efficiency of a VAWT or
HAWT. The VAWT 5000 uses the aerodynamics similar to an anemometer,
while the HAWT uses an airfoil. Finally, the center of gravity was another
major factor. If the drive shaft was not the center of gravity, it would rattle
and shake. However, some mistakes were made. The reason the Giromill
probably did not work is due to the airfoil shape. Also, the VAWT 5000had an
extremely off centered drive shaft, and the PVC stand made the turbine
wobble.
Due to all the variables, the results are semi-inconclusive. I am not
sure if the results varied from the variables (center of gravity, friction, and,
weight), or from the independent variables. However, this still was supported
an argumentThis supported the argument that HAWT is better than VAWT.
Research stated that HAWT derives 50% of the energy in the wind, and a
VAWT derives 13%. However, it all really funnels down to the model quality.
My VAWTs design was not the best, while the HAWT was closer to industrialgrade turbines. This is the reason why this type experiment never yielded a
solid, set in stone answer to the question.

Conclusion
This experiment bashed the heads of the two most popular forms of
wind turbines: VAWT and HAWT. The results concluded that a HAWT will blow
the competition away. The Low-solidity wind turbine came in HAWT, on
average it generated 78 watts, 975% higher than the VAWT 5000, which
lagged behind with a measly 5 watts.
This directly contradicted my
hypothesis, stating that a VAWT would outperform a HAWT, but it still gave
*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

19 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

some very important data towards a powerful conclusion. The aerodynamics,


weight, center of gravity, and friction all were major factors to power output,
along with wind speed and distance. This goes to show that HAWT wind
turbines with airfoil out perform a VAWT, but research shows that it has a
larger impact.

Bibliography
Source
for...

Source in MLA format

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

20 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Warping
wood

Wandel, Matthias. "Making a Curvy Board." YouTube. YouTube,


30 Dec. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

Research

"Wind turbine." Britannica School. Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc.


2014Web.
28
Sep.
2014.
<http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/605457>

Basic
intro

"Wikipedia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Feb. 2014.


Web. Throughout the Project. Oct. 2014. Assorted
articles

Materials

"Learn about Wind." KidWind. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

Directions "Building
a
Vertical
Axis
Wind
Turbine
(VAWT)."
to create
Instructables.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2014.
VAWT
5000

Basic
"5-KW VAWT." 5-KW VAWT. REM Enterprises, n.d. Web. 17 Nov.
description 2014.
of
VAWT
5000

Giromill
VAWT

"REUK.co.uk - The Renewable Energy Website." Giromill


Darrieus Wind Turbines. Reuk.co, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

HAWT
informatio

"Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines HAWT." Turbinesinfo All About

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

21 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Turbines. Turbinesinfo, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

Giromill
instruction
s/ ideas

Norm. "Fieldlines.com: The Otherpower Discussion Board." My


Foamboard Darrius. OtherPower, 20 Aug. 2003. Web. 20 Nov.
2014.
<http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php?
topic=127357.0>.

Solidity

"Understanding Solidity." Understanding Solidity. Art Turbine


Inc., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014..l;p[

UC Davis Tumbale, Spencer, and Vyshaali Jagadeesan. "Analysis." Solar


COSMOS
vs. Wind Energy. Google Sites, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.

Hydrowind

"Hydro vs. Wind vs. Solar Power?" EEP Electrical Engineering


Portal RSS. EEP, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2015. <http://electricalengineering-portal.com/hydro-vs-wind-vs-solar-power>.

Wind
Nelson, Vaughn. Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the
Energy:
Environment. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC, 2009. Print.
Renewable
Energy
and
the
Environme
nt

Formula

"REUK.co.uk - The Renewable Energy Website." Calculation of


Wind
Power.
N.p.,
n.d.
Web.
24
Jan.
2015.
<http://www.reuk.co.uk/Calculation-of-Wind-Power.htm>.

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.

22 | V A W T o r H A W T ?

Vawt
hawt

vs "VAWT VS HAWT." Aeolos Wind Turbine Company. AEOLOS,


n.d.
Web.
24
Jan.
2015.
<http://www.windturbinestar.com/hawt-vs-vawt.html>.

Hawt
vawt

vs "VAWT versus HAWT Wind Power - New Energy Watch." 'New


Energy Watch'New Energy Watch, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.
<http://www.newenergywatch.com/2006/11/vawt_versus_haw.
html>.

*For any more detailed sources and citations, see bibliography.