Wind energy in the built environment : an experimental and numerical investigation of a building integrated ducted wind turbine module
Wind is now established in Europe as a major 'renewable energy' resource, but its large scale exploitation is increasingly limited by environmental issues. Hence, on the way to a more sustainable development, it is desirable to seek ways to incorporate it into small scale embedded generation. As a first step, a prototype of a small scale Ducted Wind Turbine has been developed and tested, which seems to be feasible for integration into a conventional building. The wind flow around the building generates differential pressures which may cause an enhanced massflow through the turbine. This thesis is concerned with the investigation of the flow through building integrated duct configurations. Hence, pressure and wind speed measurements have been carried out on a wind tunnel model at different angles of incident wind. Different duct geometries with attached spoilers have been tested, and it was confirmed that wind speeds up to 30 % higher than in the approaching free stream are induced in the duct, in some cases tolerating an angle of incident wind up to 60°. The experimental work proceeded in parallel with Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling. Adaptive gridding of the complex full model geometry required a two dimensional approach, which was used to compare the predicted flow behaviour qualitatively. Three dimensional simulation of the flow field in the building integrated duct could be compared with experimental results. A new flow field mapping approach was initialised to form a two stage process in which conditions in the large-scale flow domain, modelled in a coarse three dimensional simulation, are used as boundary conditions for a localised simulation of the duct flow. Based on performance measurements of a free standing prototype in field trials and the experimentally determined wind speed in the duct, a power prediction model was developed. For the Scottish climate, the proposed device compares favorably with conventional small wind turbines and photovoltaics. The presented work evaluates the concept of harvesting wind energy in the built environment and provides outlines for the future design of a building integrated Ducted Wind Turbine module.