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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

CONTENTS

I. LIST OF FIGURES 3
II. LIST OF SYMBOLS 4
III. ABSTRACT 5
IV. PROJECT OBJECTIVES 6

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION 7

1.1. Straight-bladed Darrieus Type VAWT 7

1.2. Advantages and limitations 9

CHAPTER 2.

TERMINOLOGY 10

2.1. Tip Speed Ratio 10

2.2. Betz Limit 11

2.3. Power Coefficient 11

2.4. Torque Coefficient 11

2.5. Solidity (σ) 11

CHAPTER 3.

LITERATURE REVIEW 12

3.1.Performance Analysis of a Darrieus Rotor 12

3.2. Aerodynamic Analysis Of Darrieus Rotors 13

3.3. Effect of Wind Turbulence and Atmospheric Stability on Wind turbine Output 14

3.4. Wind Turbine Airfoil Flow Simulations 15

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CHAPTER 4.

VAWT AERODYNAMICS 16

4.1. The Actuator Cylinder 16

4.2. Momentum Theory 17

4.3. Blade Element Theory 19

CHAPTER 5.

DARRIEUS TURBINE PARAMETERS AFFECTED BY THERMAL CONDITIONS 21

5.1. Tower Height 21

5.2. Material Selection 22

5.2.1. Factors affecting material selection 22

CHAPTER 6.

COMPUTATIONAL METHODOLOGY AND SOLUTIONS OF ANALYSIS 24

6.1. VAWT Model . 24

6.2. Mesh Generation in Gambit 26

6.3. Solution of flow problem in FLUENT 28

6.3.1 FLUENT Solver Input and Solution Control Parameters 30

6.3.2. Results 30

6.4. Thermal Stress Analysis in ANSYS 33

6.4.1. Procedure 33

CONCLUSION 38

REFERENCES 39

APPENDIX A 40

APPENDIX B 41

APPENDIX C 42

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I. LIST OF FIGURES
Page No.

Figure 1.1. H-Darrieus Vertical Axis Wind Turbine 9

Figure 2.1. Forces, velocities and incident angles for various blade 10
positions during the rotation of Darrieus wind turbine.

Figure 3.1. Variation of power coefficient with respect to blade angle at 13


V=9 m/s [1]

Figure 4.1. Geometry of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. 16

Figure 4.2. Plan view of actuator cylinder 17

Figure 4.3. Lift and drag forces acting on a blade on a blade of a VAWT 19

Figure 4.4. Nomenclature used to represent the geometry of the variable 19


pitch blade for the VAWT blade (upper right quadrant)

Figure 6.1. Overall dimensions of the H-Darrieus rotor. 24

Figure 6.2. Pro/E model of the H-Darrieus rotor 25

Figure 6.3. Boundary conditions and computational domain of the rotor. 26

Figure 6.4. Unstructured mesh for the flow domain in GAMBIT 27

Figure 6.5. Unstructured mesh for the flow domain in GAMBIT showing 28
the concentrated meshing around the airfoil.
Figure 6.6. Variation of absolute pressure along the airfoil surface of 31
Foil1
Figure 6.7. Variation of absolute pressure in the flow domain. 31

Figure 6.8. Variation of velocity magnitude near the airfoil blades. 32

Figure 6.9. Elemental nodes on the hollow, twisted airfoil blade as 34


imported from GAMBIT
Figure 6.10. Contour plot of thermal gradient near the trailing edge of the 35
airfoil.
Figure 6.11. Contour plot of von Mises mechanical stress over the airfoil 36
solid.
Figure 6.12. Contour plot of von Mises mechanical stress over the airfoil 37
solid showing the stress concentration at the inner wall of
blade.
Figure 6.13. Contour plot of total von Mises mechanical and thermal 37
stress over the airfoil solid showing the stress concentration
at the inner wall of blade.

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II. LIST OF SYMBOLS

AD : area of actuator disc


a : interference factor
C : airfoil cord length
CD : drag coefficient
CL : lift coefficient
: normal force coefficient
: tangential force coefficient
Fi : force component on each element of blade
N : number of blades
r : radius of blade- distance from rotor
U : effective flow passing through rotor
U∞ : upstream wind velocity
: wind speed on actuator disk
: downstream wind velocity
a : axial flow induction factor
Vθ : blade speed
W : apparent wind speed
α : attack angle
ω : angular velocity
αi : induced attack angle
αL : attack angle (infinite wing theory)
χ : tip speed ratio
δ : induced drag coefficient
θ : the angle location of blade
ζ : solidity
ψi : polar parameter of blade element i

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III. ABSTRACT

For efficient utilization of the available wind energy, it is imperative to study the behavior
and performance of the wind turbines subjected to aerodynamic and ambient conditions to
understand the possible behavior of the system such that the modifications in design, if any,
can be incorporated so that the extraction of energy from the wind is maximized.

For this purpose, the CFD analysis in FLUENT and structural analysis in ANSYS of a
twisted three bladed H-Darrieus rotor has been undertaken. Due to limitations on
experimentation, the computational approach has been used to get the wind loads on the
blades. On further application of these loads, in addition with temperature conditions, the
structural behavior of the aforementioned blade is obtained for a predetermined set of
operating conditions.

The results from the analysis are compared with pre-existing ones for the purpose of
validation and are found to be confirming within acceptable error limits. This holistic
approach, thus, gives an insight to the behavior of similar systems subjected to identical
conditions.

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IV. PROJECT OBJECTIVES

(i) To implement a CAD model depicting the true blade profile for a given configuration
possible for the Darrieus type wind turbine.

(ii) Acquisition and implementation of the exact working constraints and parameters to
address the current state of wind turbine development

(iii) To identify and apply the exact data obtained on the turbine in an analysis software
(basically FLUENT or ANSYS) to achieve the goal of thermal simulation under loaded
conditions.

(iv) Post-processing of the results to identify the optimum blade design and configurations
that will be able to handle the thermal conditions ambient to the turbine.

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CHAPTER 1.
INTRODUCTION

Aerodynamics is an active and influential science, contributing to major aspects of wind


turbine design. The art of manipulating and adapting a moving fluid to optimize energy
extraction is of prime importance. Wind turbines have been studied since the earliest known
ancient humans attempted to harness wind energy through diversified means. One of the
manners to achieve this goal was through Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT).

Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest regarding sources of renewable energy, with
numerous universities, companies and research institutions carrying out extensive research
activities. These activities have led to a plethora of designs of wind turbines based mostly on
computational aerodynamic models. Still largely restricted to an experimental subject,
vertical-axis wind turbines are appearing more frequently in the civilian and military market
as research into their cost-effectiveness and simplicity progresses.

At present, there are two primary categories of modern wind turbines, namely horizontal-axis
(HAWTs) and vertical-axis (VAWTs). The main advantages of the VAWT are its single
moving part (rotor) where no yaw mechanisms are required, its low-wind speed operation and
the elimination of the need for extensive supporting tower structures, thus significantly
simplifying the design and installation. Blades of straight-bladed VAWTs can be of uniform
airfoil section and untwisted, making them relatively easy to fabricate or extrude, unlike the
blades of HAWTs, which are commonly twisted and tapered airfoils for optimum
performance.

1.1. Straight-bladed Darrieus Type VAWT

Currently there are two main categories of modern wind turbines, namely the Horizontal Axis
Wind Turbines (HAWT) and the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (or VAWT). These are used
mainly for electricity generation and water pumping. For the HAWT machines, the axis of
rotation of blades is horizontal and for the VAWT, the axis of rotation is vertical. Unlike
HAWT, VAWTs are insensitive to direction of wind and thus they do not need any

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complicated yawing mechanisms. There have been many designs of vertical axis windmills
over the years. Currently the vertical axis machines can be broadly divided into three basic
types –
1) Savonius type,
2) Darrieus type, and
3) H-Rotor type.
The Darrieus type VAWT was invented by French engineer George Jeans Mary Darrieus in
1925 and it was patented in the USA in 1931 [8]. It comes in two configurations, namely egg-
beater (or curved-bladed) and straight-bladed.

1.2. Advantages and limitations

Though HAWTs work well in rural settings with steady uni-directional winds, VAWTs have
numerous advantages over them.

They do not require additional components (like yaw mechanics, pitch control
mechanism, wind-direction sensing device). VAWTs are insensitive to wind-
direction.
Almost all of the components requiring maintenance are located at the ground level,
facilitating the maintenance work appreciably.
They also eliminate the costs (both initial and recurring maintenance) of the auxiliary
components (like diesel gensets) and risks associated with the failure or malfunction
of these components.
All these factors make them ideal candidate for rooftop (rural and urban) and certain
mechanical applications.
VAWTs have the simplest blade geometry, and thus are easier to manufacture.
Unlike HAWTs, fixed-pitch straight-bladed VAWTs are mechanically much simpler
and aesthetically more attractive.
Can be mounted to roofs without special provisions & support PVs & other
renewables without vibrations/noise concerns.

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Nevertheless, it is commonly believed that small-capacity straight-bladed VAWTs are


inherently unable to self-start properly. This notion is true for older designs which were
constructed by using old NACA airfoils and commonly available materials like aluminium or
wood. According to some researchers, the problem of self-starting can be alleviated by

i) using high-lift low-drag special-purpose airfoil; and


ii) by incorporating a Savonius rotor or torque tube.

Several prototypes and commercial models have been designed and deployed in the field
which have a self-starting feature. These prototypes and models have benefited from
advances in aerodynamic tools and lightweight composite materials.

Figure 1.1. H-Darrieus Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

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CHAPTER 2.
VAWT TERMINOLOGY

2.1. Tip Speed Ratio


Tip-speed ratio is the ratio of the speed of the rotating blade tip to the speed of the free stream
wind.

(2.1)

Where,
ω = rotational speed (in radians /sec)
R = rotor radius (in m)
U = wind “free stream” velocity (in m/sec)

Figure 2.1. Forces, velocities and incident angles for various blade positions during the rotation
of Darrieus wind turbine.

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2.2. Betz Limit


All wind power cannot be captured by rotor or air would be completely still behind rotor and
not allow more wind to pass through. Theoretical limit of rotor efficiency is 59%. Most
modern wind turbines are in the 35 – 45% range

2.3. Power Coefficient


The power coefficient is defined as,

(2.2)

where, P = rotor power

2.4. Torque Coefficient


The torque coefficient is defined as,

(2.3)

where, T = rotor torque

The relation between the two coefficients is,

(2.4)

2.5. Solidity (σ)


The solidity of a wind turbine is the ratio between blade area to swept area in a full rotation.

(2.5)

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CHAPTER 3.
LITERATURE REVIEW

The current wind turbine research is primarily driven towards proposing performance
optimizations of horizontal-axis wind turbines, however substantial progress has also been
observed towards vertical-axis wind turbine applications concerning aerodynamic efficiency
and performance regarding energy production by assessing operational characteristics in sub-
scale testing. There remains no extensive availability of literature concerning specific
Darrieus model applications, but rather there is literature concerning the general study of the
concept of the Darrieus rotor with very few authors analyzing in-depth the aerodynamic
phenomena that these models create as observed with thermal effects. A representative
selection therefore, relevant to supporting the theoretical and numerical results and thermal
effects involved in the project are reviewed and summaries provided of how the literature is
incorporated into the study.

3.1.Performance Analysis of a Darrieus Rotor

Debnath et al. [1] have predicted the performance characteristics of three-bladed Darrieus
rotor for various overlap conditions. The aerodynamic coefficients, such as lift coefficient,
drag coefficient, and lift-to-drag coefficient, were evaluated with respect to angle of attack.
Subsequent validation by using experimental values for the twisted three-bladed H-Darrieus
rotor was also presented. The study is used for identifying the design aspects that influences
the economics of the rotor such as evaluation of aerodynamic coefficients, like lift, drag, and
lift-to-drag coefficients for the blades.

Fig. 3.1 shows that power coefficients are positive at the blade azimuthal positions where
positive thrust coefficients are obtained. Moreover, Fig. 3.1 also confirms that blade twist of
30° results in higher average power coefficient for the rotor.

With the superiority of the lift-driven devices established as well as the fact that maximum
power is obtained when the device is moving perpendicular to the wind, the concept of
placing lifting surfaces on a rotating machine is seen to be an obvious method of deployment.

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Figure 3.1. Variation of power coefficient with respect to blade angle at V=9 m/s [1]

3.2. Aerodynamic Analysis Of Darrieus Rotors

The differences between cross-wind rotors and the wind-axis type is that there is a
continuously varying local wind as a blade rotates from "upwind" to "downwind". A quasi-
steady condition is usually assumed and the effects of the upwind blade on the blade in
downwind position is neglected, as shown by Wilson, R [2].

Two group of mathematical model for analysing and predicting Darrieus rotor performance
are the simple momentum (streamtube) model and the complex vortex models.

The simple momentum model is simple and straightforward and results in good agreement
with the available test data. It treats the flow as a single streamtube with the induced velocity
constant across the rotor, which allows a closed solution, but which limits its use to lightly
loaded blades and circumstances in which there is no significant variation of wind velocity
across the flow area. The analysis includes aerodynamic drag of the blades and it shows that
performance is sensitive to drag, particularly at high values of TSR.

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Another method is the multiple-streamtube concept, for which an iteration procedure is


required, as the ratio of wind speed u at the rotor to the freestream velocity V∞. is not constant
and must be obtained by matching of momentum and blade-element relationships.

Among the two, the momentum models are known to be unable to describe flow field around
the turbine correctly. Strangely it seems to be the most widely used tool mostly because of
the acceptable accuracy of the result, widely available literature, and code simplicity.

To date, very little work has been done on establishing the influence that fundamental
thermal parameters such as temperature gradients, heat transfer etc. have on the aerodynamic
performance and structural integrity of a VAWT. This type of study can only be carried out if
a suitably comprehensive prediction scheme is available.

To account for the temporal variation in angle of attack on the wind turbine blades Coton et
al. [3] suggested fully unsteady three-dimensional analysis scheme which has been validated
against existing machines to provide the required level of aerodynamic detail over the full
range of tip-speed ratio.

3.3. Effect of Wind Turbulence and Atmospheric Stability on Wind turbine


Output

Rohatgi et al. [4] studied the impact of wind turbulence on wind turbine operation. Wind
profile variations may cause random, fluctuating loads and stresses over the whole structure,
resulting into power instabilities and fatigue life of the wind turbine.

Information regarding the atmospheric stability is also important considering the fatigue life
and the power generation from a wind turbine. The vertical wind profile models are governed
by the vertical temperature distribution resulting from radiative heating or cooling of the
earth’s surface and the subsequent convective mixing of the air adjacent to the surface.

The conclusive inferences regarding the thermal aspects of turbine operational parameters are
incorporated in the subsequent analysis that will result from this project.

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3.4. Wind Turbine Airfoil Flow Simulations

Implementation of design improvements for the wind turbines is hampered by the lack of
practical prediction tools having the appropriate level of complexity. The fact that the flow is
incompressible, three-dimensional, unsteady, turbulent, and very often separated to a large
extent, means that its numerical analysis is very complex and costly.

Bermúdez et al [6] proposed a viscous–inviscid interaction method that allows for the
efficient computation of unsteady airfoil flow. The numerical robustness as offered by the
algorithm will aid in more generalised calculations when incorporated into the simulation
program.

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CHAPTER 4.
VAWT AERODYNAMICS

A single blade of a vertical axis wind turbine, viewed from above, is illustrated in Fig.4.1. In
the figure the blade is shown rotating in the counter-clockwise direction, and the wind is seen
impinging on the rotor from left to right. As is typical in vertical axis wind turbines, the
airfoil is symmetric. The blade is oriented so that the chord line is perpendicular to the radius
of the circle of rotation. The radius defining the angular position of the blade (normally
meeting the chord line at the quarter chord) makes an angle of φ with the wind direction, as
shown in the figure.

Figure 4.1. Geometry of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine.

4.1. The Actuator Cylinder


Vertical axis blade configurations are many but, for the purpose of this exercise, we shall
assume that the blades are straight and vertical. Such a machine sweeps out a cylinder,
instead of a disk as is the case with HAWT, and so intersects any given streamtube twice. As
shown in the Fig.4.2, this means that there are effectively, two elemental actuator disks in
tandem, each set at an angle to the flow and each extracting some of the flow’s energy.

Various theories have been put forward to deal with the presence of the two actuator disks.
The simplest theories lump the two disks together and assume that all the energy is being
extracted at the mid-vertical plane of the cylinder. Such an approach can be treated in either a
single or multiple streamtube manner. However, an analysis which takes account of the

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double intersection is able to provide much greater detail about the aerodynamic response,
such as the variation of the torque and blade normal loading and it is an approach which will
be described in this text.

Figure 4.2. Plan view of actuator cylinder

4.2. Momentum Theory


The air which passes through the disc undergoes an overall change in velocity, U – Uw and a
rate of change of momentum equal to the overall change of velocity times the mass flow rate.

Rate of change of momentum = (4.1)

The force causing this change of momentum comes entirely from the pressure difference
across the actuator disk, because the streamtube is otherwise surrounded by air at atmospheric
pressure, which gives zero net force. Therefore

(4.2)

To obtain the pressure difference , Bernoulli’s equation is applied separately to


the upstream and downstream sections of the streamtube; separate equations are necessary
because the total energy is different upstream and downstream.

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For a VAWT, the momentum theory has to be applied to each intersection of the air stream
with the actuator cylinder. However, conditions vary greatly around the cylinder and so it is
common to consider a multiplicity of streamtubes which pack together to fill the cylinder
volume.

The two intersections are treated as two actuator disks in tandem. The disk areas are different
because of the expansion of the streamtubes and, although the disks are not normal to the
flow direction, these areas are taken to be normal cross-section.

It is assumed that at a point somewhere between the disks, the static pressure the static
pressure rises through the atmospheric level , and at this point the streamtube velocity is
Ua. By momentum theory therefore, at the actuator disk,

(4.3)

and,

(4.4)

The rate of change of momentum for the upstream part of the streamtube is then,

(4.5)

The speed U now becomes the upstream velocity (instead of U) or the downstream disk and
hence

(4.6)

and,

(4.7)

So the rate of change of momentum is

(4.8)

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4.3. Blade Element Theory

Blade element theory relies on two key assumptions:

1. There are no aerodynamic interactions between different blade elements.


2. The forces on the blade elements are solely determined by the lift and drag
coefficients.

Each blade has an airfoil cross-section and produces lift which has a component in the
tangential direction, thus providing a torque which is not constant but varies with blade
position and, when the blades are few in numbers, this means that the shaft torque fluctuates.
Figure shows the blade element forces and velocities at points in each quadrant of a
revolution.

Figure 4.3. Lift and drag forces acting on a Figure 4.4. Nomenclature used to represent
blade on a blade of a VAWT the geometry of the variable pitch blade for
the VAWT blade (upper right quadrant)

As can be seen, the lift always has a component in the forward direction but the blade surface
facing the wind changes between the upstream and downstream passes. This means that the
angle of incidence changes sign and so it would seem that the airfoil should be symmetrical.
A cambered airfoil would give an increased torque on one pass but a decreased torque on the
other, and experiment has shown that the latter predominates whichever way the blade is
cambered. Pitching the blades nose-in or nose-out should, in principle, give similar results,
but a small advantage can be obtained with a little nose-out pitch, especially at very low tip
speed ratios. This is useful because vertical axis machines generally have low starting

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torques. For simplicity, however, we shall assume zero set pitch, that is, the chord line is a
tangent to the circle of rotation and moreover, touches the circle at the mid-point chord.

Fig.4.3 and Fig.4.4 show the forces on a blade element in the first quadrant, measuring the
azimuth angle β clockwise (direction of rotation), from the downstream direction.

The angle θ is not the blade azimuth but the angle between the radius vector and the local
streamline. This streamline is assumed to be straight as it crosses the turbine and so the angle
θ is the same at both actuator disks/blade elements. The forces resolved into the local
streamline sense, give

(4.9)

The terms in brackets are normal (N) and chordwise (T) components of the resultant force on
the airfoil and it is usual to use these rather than L and D.

(4.10)

(4.11)

As CL and CD are known functions of , then CN and CT can be calculated and used instead.

(4.12)

(4.13)

Note that N, T, L and D are forces per unit of length of blade

Therefore,

(4.14)

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CHAPTER 5.
DARRIEUS TURBINE PARAMETERS AFFECTED BY
THERMAL CONDITIONS
5.1. Tower Height
Tower Height is governed by the “wind profile power law”. It is a relationship between the
wind speeds at one height, and those at another.

The power law is often used in wind power assessments where wind speeds at the height of a
turbine (>~ 50 meters) must be estimated from near surface wind observations (~10 meters),
or where wind speed data at various heights must be adjusted to a standard height prior to
use. Wind profiles are generated and used in a number of atmospheric pollution dispersion
models.

The wind profile of the atmospheric boundary layer (surface to around 2000 meters) is
generally logarithmic in nature and is best approximated using the log wind profile equation
that accounts for surface roughness and atmospheric stability. The wind profile power law
relationship is often used as a substitute for the log wind profile when surface roughness or
stability information is not available.

The wind profile power law relationship is:

(5.1)

where u is the wind speed (in meters per second) at height z (in meters), and u r is the known
wind speed at a reference height zr. The exponent (α) is an empirically derived coefficient
that varies dependent upon the stability of the atmosphere. For neutral stability conditions, α
is approximately 1/7, or 0.143.

In order to estimate the wind speed at a certain height x, the relationship would be rearranged
to:

(5.2)

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The value of 1/7 for α is commonly assumed to be constant in wind resource assessments,
because the differences between the two levels are not usually so great as to introduce
substantial errors into the estimates (usually < 50 m).

Doubling the altitude of a turbine, then, increases the expected wind speeds by 10% and the
expected power by 34%.

At night time, or when the atmosphere becomes stable, wind speed close to the ground
usually subsides whereas at turbine hub altitude it does not decrease that much or may even
increase. As a result the wind speed is higher and a turbine will produce more power than
expected from the 1/7th power law: doubling the altitude may increase wind speed by 20% to
60%.

5.2. Material Selection

The typical operating temperature of a wind turbine may vary from -200C to 400C. Taking
this range into consideration, a suitable material must be selected that can provide maximum
blade life under fluctuating temperature conditions. The continuous dimensional changes
experienced by the rotor during a low-to-high temperature cycle, such as those prevalent in
desert areas, may induce cracking in the blades. By suitable material selection and subsequent
treatments, the material may be made adaptable to such temperature fluctuations so that the
wind turbine operates with desired efficiency throughout its predicted life.

5.2.1. Factors affecting material selection

Many factors are considered while selecting material for wind turbine blades. These include
physical properties such as, low density, performance requirements, safety, environmental
conditions, economic factors, etc.

The principal properties pursued from a technical point of view are:

1. High material stiffness to maintain optimal performance.


2. A long fatigue life to reduce material degradation.

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3. High thermal conductivity.


4. Moderate density.
5. High specific heat.
6. Low coefficient of thermal expansion.

On comparison of various materials, epoxy-fibre reinforced plastic was found to satisfy most
of these properties adequately. As such, we have used this material in our analysis.

Table 5.1. Material Properties of epoxy-fibre reinforced plastic (EFRP)

TEST
PROPERTIES UNIT VALUES
METHOD

(a) PHYSICAL

Density IS 10192 kg/m3 1850

Water Absorption IS 10192 - Max. 0.13

Mass fraction - % fibre 61

Volume fraction - % fibre 52

(b) MECHANICAL

Tensile Strength IS 1998 N/mm2 250

Flexural Strength IS 1998 N/mm2 350

Flexural Strength after keeping at 150°C for


IS 1998 N/mm2 175
one hour and tested at 150°C

Shear Strength IS 1998 N/mm2 120

Compressive strength IS 1998 N/mm2 400

Impact Strength Charpy (Type Test) 10mm IS 10192 kJ/mm2 75

(c) THERMAL

Thermal conductivity - W/m-K 3.46


Coefficient of linear expansion - m/m 0C 1.2 x 10-5
Specific heat - kJ/kgK 1.170

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CHAPTER 6.
COMPUTATIONAL METHODOLOGY AND SOLUTIONS
OF ANALYSIS

6.1. VAWT Model


To exhaustively depict the use splines for reproducing the twisted blade profile, the model of
H-Darrieus rotor was drawn using Pro/E software.

Figure 6.1. Overall dimensions of the H-Darrieus rotor.

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Figure 6.2. Pro/E model of the H-Darrieus rotor

The main parts of the model are:

(a) the twisted blades


(b) the shaft
(c) the retaining discs

The chord length of the blades was 10 cm and height of the blades was 40 cm. The actual
shape of the airfoil blade of unit size is shown in Fig. 6.1. An angular twist of 30° was
provided at the trailing ends of the blades, such that the twist on each blade was symmetrical.
The blades were mounted in such a fashion that the concave face of the twist end is facing the
upstream flow. The profile of the airfoil resembles to NACA 0012 having twist at the trailing
end. Although such cambered section at negative incidence (which happens in the downwind
pass) develops a little lift, such blades are better off than symmetrical NACA airfoil blades
where upwind and downwind phenomena are more or less even, especially at low Reynolds
number flows.

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The H-Darrieus rotor used for the analysis is modelled in Pro/E and the data-points were then
transferred to Gambit for further development of mesh on it.

6.2. Mesh Generation in Gambit

The Computational Fluid Dynamic package used was FLUENT while the mesh was
generated in GAMBIT of the FLUENT 6.3.26 software. Fig.6.3 shows the computational
domain, which has three bladed rotor along with surrounding four edges resembling the test
section of the wind tunnel. Velocity inlet and pressure outlet conditions were taken on the left
and right boundaries, respectively. The top and bottom boundaries, which signify the
sidewalls of the wind tunnel, had symmetry conditions on them. The blades and shaft were
set to standard wall conditions. Two-dimensional unstructured (triangular-mesh)
computational domain was developed. The vertical axis wind rotor blades rotate in the same
plane as the approaching wind.

Figure 6.3. Boundary conditions and computational domain of the rotor.

For an H-Darrieus rotor, the general geometric properties of the blade cross-section are
usually constant with varying span section, unlike original Darrieus rotor as invented and
patented by Darrieus in 1931, for which these geometric properties vary with the local radius.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

The density of mesh was high at the blade ends and also on the blade peripheries to capture
the flow physics near the wall boundaries. On the blades of the rotor, near wall boundary
layers were built in gambit such that the distance of the first row of grid points in direction
normal to the boundary was 0.001 cm. Wind velocity of 9 m/s were taken for simulating the
wind flow. The tip speed ratio corresponding to this wind velocity is 4.26.

Table 6.1. Mesh Entities

Total mesh faces 300562


Total mesh edges 2150
Total mesh nodes 150873

Figure 6.4. Unstructured mesh for the flow domain in GAMBIT

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.5.Unstructured mesh for the flow domain in GAMBIT showing the concentrated
meshing around the airfoil.

6.3. Solution of flow problem in FLUENT


Any computational formulation of a physical process is based on mathematical modelling. In
the CFD formulation as well, the conservative forms of continuity and Navier–Stokes’
equations in integral form for incompressible flow of constant viscosity were solved by the
built-in functions of the FLUENT 6.2 CFD software. The simplest and most widely used two-
equation turbulence model is the standard k-ɛ model that solves one transport equation to
allow the turbulent kinetic energy and its dissipation rate to be independently determined.
The standard k-ɛ model is particularly suitable for flows though sharp corners, straight and
curved edges like the rotor blades, as the model uses wall functions based on the law of the
wall. The standard k-ɛ equation can be represented as:

For turbulent kinetic energy (k):

(6.1)

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

For dissipation (Є):

(6.2)

Turbulent viscosity (µT) is modelled as:

(6.3)

Model constants:

In the present study, steady-state, incompressible two-dimensional flow was assumed. The
numerical simulations were carried out by solving the conservation equations for mass and
momentum by using an unstructured-grid finite volume methodology.

The sequential algorithm, semi-implicit method for pressure linked equation (SIMPLE), was
used in solving all the scalar variables. For the convective terms of the continuity and
momentum equations, and also for the turbulence equations, the second order upwind
interpolating scheme was applied in order to achieve more accurate results. The
computational conditions are given in Section 6.3.1.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

6.3.1 FLUENT Solver Input and Solution Control Parameters


(a) Material: air (fluid)

Property Value(s)
Density 1.225 kg/m3
Cp (Specific Heat) 1006.43 J/kg-K
Thermal Conductivity 0.0242 W/m-K
Viscosity 1.7894E-05 kg/m-s

(b) Boundary Conditions:

Wind velocity 9 m/s


Pressure 1.013 bar
Rotational speed 146 rad/sec

(c) Solver Settings

(1)Relaxation
Variable Relaxation
Pressure 0.3
Density 1
Body Forces 1
Momentum 0.7
Turbulent Kinetic Energy 0.8
Turbulent Dissipation Rate 0.8
Turbulent Viscosity 1
(2)Method
Pressure-Velocity Coupling SIMPLE
Turbulence Model Standard k-ɛ
Near Wall Treatment Enhanced
(3)Discretization Scheme
Pressure Standard
Momentum Second Order Upwind
Turbulent Kinetic Energy Second Order Upwind
Turbulent Dissipation Rate First Order Upwind

6.3.2. Results

The absolute pressure results are obtained from the analysis is Fig. 6.6. The important parameter is the
absolute pressure values along the curved length of Foil1 which will suffice for mechanical pressure
loading in the thermal stress analysis.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.6. Variation of absolute pressure along the airfoil surface of Foil1

Figure 6.7. Variation of absolute pressure in the flow domain.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.8. Variation of velocity magnitude near the airfoil blades.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

6.4. Thermal Stress Analysis in ANSYS

Structural analysis comprises the set of physical laws and mathematics required to study and
predicts the behaviour of structures. The subjects of structural analysis are engineering
artifacts whose integrity is judged largely based upon their ability to withstand loads. From a
theoretical perspective the primary goal of structural analysis is the computation of
deformations, internal forces, and stresses. In practice, structural analysis can be viewed more
abstractly as a method to drive the engineering design process or prove the soundness of a
design without a dependence on directly testing it.

In a typical thermal stresses analysis, temperatures are calculated and then applied as load
conditions for the stress analysis. While it is possible to solve for the temperature using a
conjugate heat transfer capability of a CFD code, it can consume significant computational
resources. A reduced order model, assuming constant wall temperature on the inside of the
blade is used to estimate the thermal gradients in the solid domain of the blades.

6.4.1. Procedure

1. The blade profile data points are imported from Gambit into ANSYS software
package for stress analysis (Fig. 6.9). The bottom-up approach was then used to
model the hollow section of the airfoil. As the flow pattern is assumed identical across
the length of the blade, a 2-D planar analysis will suffice.

2. The relevant material properties for epoxy-fibre reinforced plastic were input from
table 5.1 using the Material Library.

3. For the purpose of establishing the thermal gradients across the solid section of the
blade profile, the area was meshed using PLANE55 elements (Appendix A). The
inside wall is maintained at a constant wall temperature of 30 0C and the outside
surface is provided with convective boundary condition, convective film coefficient
ha = 22 W/m2-0C. This completes the thermal evaluation of the problem, Fig. 6.10.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.9. Elemental nodes on the hollow, twisted airfoil blade as imported from GAMBIT

4. The thermal gradient values generated in the above analysis are used subsequently in
the thermal stress analysis of the blade.

5. For this purpose, the modelled area is meshed using the PLANE13 (Appendix B)
element types. The free area mesh was used. The mesh was further refined at the foil
surfaces.

6. The displacement degree of freedom (DOF) for the inner wall is set to zero.

7. Further, to incorporate the absolute pressure values, as obtained from the FLUENT,
the Table entries were made for 240 nodal points on the airfoil. For this, x,y nodal
coordinates and the corresponding absolute pressure values on the Foil1 airfoil
surface are imported from FLUENT analysis as the input. This completes the surface
loading of the blade.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.10. Contour plot of thermal gradient near the trailing edge of the airfoil.

8. For thermal loading, the temperature gradients are incorporated as Table values at the
corresponding nodes.

9. The solution was then obtained in terms of total (thermal and mechanical) von Mises
stress and strain values.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.11. Contour plot of von Mises mechanical stress over the airfoil solid.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Figure 6.12. Contour plot of von Mises mechanical stress over the airfoil solid showing the stress
concentration at the inner wall of blade.

Figure 6.13. Contour plot of total von Mises mechanical and thermal stress over the airfoil solid
showing the stress concentration at the inner wall of blade.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

CONCLUSION:
The von Mises stress values obtained from the structural analysis shows that the location of
maximum value of stress corresponds to the position of maximum thermal gradient. Thus, by
evaluating the thermal profile of a wind turbine blade, under similar conditions, a rough
estimation of the location of the maximum stress concentration can be known.

FUTURE SCOPE:
The future scope of the project is to, possibly, develop a mathematical model governing the
performance parameters of a VAWT operation (such as lift coefficient, drag coefficient and
power) with respect to the temperature conditions imposed on to the turbine.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

REFERENCES:

[1] Debnath B. K.; Biswas A. & Gupta R., Computational fluid dynamics analysis of a combined
three-bucket Savonius and three-bladed Darrieus rotor at various overlap conditions, Journal of
Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 2009, 033110, 1-13
[2] Wilson, R. Wind-turbine Aerodynamics Journal of lndustrial Aerodynamics, 1980, 5, 357-372
[3] Coton F. N.; Galbraith R. A. M. & Jiang D., The influence of detailed blade design on the
aerodynamic performance of straight-bladed vertical axis wind turbines, Proc Instn Mech Engrs,
1996, 210, 65-74
[4] Rohatgi J. & Barbezier G., Wind Turbulence and Atmospheric Stability - Their Effect on
Wind Turbine Output, Renewable Energy, 1999, 16, 908-911
[5] Ferreira C. S.; van Kuik G.; van Bussel G. & Scarano F., Visualization by PIV of dynamic
stall on a vertical axis wind turbine, Exp Fluids, 2009, 46, 97–108
[6] Bermudez L.; Velazquez A. & Matesanz A., Viscous–inviscid method for the simulation of
turbulent unsteady wind turbine airfoil flow, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial
Aerodynamics, 2002, 90, 643-661
[7] Barakos, G. and Mitsoulis, E., Numerical simulation of viscoelastic flow around a cylinder
using an integral constitutive equation, J. Rheol., 1995, 39, 1279
[8] Darrieus, G.J.M., Turbine having its rotating shaft transverse to the flow of the current. US
Patent No. 1835081,1931.
[9] Kuan-Chen Fu and Awad Harb, Thermal Stresses of a Wind Turbine Blade made of
Orthotropic Material, Computers & Structures, 1987, Vol. 27. No. 2. pp, 225-235.
[10] Freris L.L., Wind Energy Conversion Systems, Prentice Hall, 1990

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

APPENDIX A

PLANE55 Element Description

PLANE55 can be used as a plane element or as an axisymmetric ring element with a 2-D
thermal conduction capability. The element has four nodes with a single degree of freedom,
temperature, at each node.

The element is applicable to a 2-D, steady-state or transient thermal analysis. The element
can also compensate for mass transport heat flow from a constant velocity field. If the model
containing the temperature element is also to be analyzed structurally, the element should be
replaced by an equivalent structural element (such as PLANE42).

Figure A.1. PLANE55 Geometry

PLANE55 Input Data

The geometry, node locations, and the coordinate system for this element are shown in
Fig.A.1. The element is defined by four nodes and the orthotropic material properties.
Orthotropic material directions correspond to the element coordinate directions. Specific heat
and density are ignored for steady-state solutions.

Convection or heat flux (but not both) and radiation may be input as surface loads at the
element faces as shown by the circled numbers on Fig. A.1.

Heat generation rates may be input as element body loads at the nodes. If the node I heat
generation rate HG(I) is input, and all others are unspecified, they default to HG(I).

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

APPENDIX B

PLANE13 Element Description

PLANE13 has a 2-D magnetic, thermal, electrical, piezoelectric, and structural field
capability with limited coupling between the fields. PLANE13 is defined by four nodes with
up to four degrees of freedom per node. PLANE13 has large deflection and stress stiffening
capabilities. When used in purely structural analyses, PLANE13 also has large strain
capabilities.

Figure B.1. PLANE13 Geometry

PLANE13 Input Data

The geometry, node locations, and the coordinate system for this element are shown in Fig.
B.1. The element input data includes four nodes and magnetic, thermal, electrical, and
structural material properties.

Element loads are described in Node and Element Loads. Pressure, convection or heat flux
(but not both), radiation, and Maxwell force flags may be input on the element faces
indicated by the circled numbers in Fig. B.1 Geometry using the SF and SFE commands.
Positive pressures act into the element.

Body loads - temperature, heat generation rate, and magnetic virtual displacement - may be
input at the element's nodes or as a single element value [BF, BFE]. When the temperature
degree of freedom is active (KEYOPT(1) = 2 or 4), applied body force temperatures [BF,
BFE] are ignored. In general, unspecified nodal temperatures and heat generation rates
default to the uniform value specified with the BFUNIF or TUNIF command. Heat
generation from Joule heating is applied in Solution as thermal loading for static and transient
analyses.

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

APPENDIX C

Stress and Strain

Stress solutions allow you to predict safety factors, stresses, strains, and displacements given
the model and material of a part or an entire assembly and for a particular structural loading
environment.

A general three-dimensional stress state is calculated in terms of three normal and three shear
stress components aligned to the part or assembly world coordinate system.

The principal stresses and the maximum shear stress are called invariants; that is, their value
does not depend on the orientation of the part or assembly with respect to its world coordinate
system. The principal stresses and maximum shear stress are available as individual results.

The principal strains ε1, ε2, and ε3 and the maximum shear strain γmax are also available. The
principal strains are always ordered such that ε1> ε2> ε3. As with principal stresses and the
maximum shear stress, the principal strains and maximum shear strain are invariants.

Equivalent stress is related to the principal stresses by the equation:

Equivalent stress (also called von Mises stress) is often used in design work because it allows
any arbitrary three-dimensional stress state to be represented as a single positive stress value.

Equivalent stress is part of the maximum equivalent stress failure theory used to predict
yielding in a ductile material.

The von Mises or equivalent strain εe is computed as:

where:

ν' = effective Poisson's ratio, which is defined as follows:

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THERMAL ANALYSIS OF VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINE 2010-2011

Material Poisson's ratio for elastic and thermal strains computed at the reference
temperature of the body.
0.5 for plastic strains.

Thermal Strain

Thermal strain is computed when coefficient of thermal expansion is specified and a temperature load
is applied in a structural analysis.

Each of the components of thermal strain are computed as:

Where:

- thermal strain in one of the directions x, y, or z.

- Secant coefficient of thermal expansion defined as a material property in Engineering Data

- reference temperature or the "stress-free" temperature. This can be specified globally for the
model using the Reference Temperature field of Static Structural or Transient Structural (ANSYS)
analysis types. Optionally the reference temperature can be specified \as a material property for cases
such as the analysis for cooling of a weld or solder joint where each material has a different stress-free
temperature.

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