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Title: Small wind turbine starting behaviour
Author: Worasinchai, Supakit
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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Small wind turbines that operate in low-wind environments are prone to suffer performance degradation as they often fail to accelerate to a steady, power-producing condition. The behaviour during this process is called “starting behaviour” and it is the subject of this present work. This thesis evaluates potential benefits that can be obtained from the improvement of starting behaviour, investigates, in particular, small wind turbine starting behaviour (both horizontal- and vertical-axis), and presents aerofoil performance characteristics (both steady and unsteady) needed for the analysis. All of the investigations were conducted using a new set of aerodynamic performance data of six aerofoils (NACA0012, SG6043, SD7062, DU06-W-200, S1223, and S1223B). All of the data were obtained at flow conditions that small wind turbine blades have to operate with during the startup - low Reynolds number (from 65000 to 150000), high angle of attack (through 360◦), and high reduced frequency (from 0.05 to 0.20). In order to obtain accurate aerodynamic data at high incidences, a series of CFD simulations were undertaken to illustrate effects of wall proximity and to determine test section sizes that offer minimum proximity effects. A study was carried out on the entire horizontal-axis wind turbine generation system to understand its starting characteristics and to estimate potential benefits of improved starting. Comparisons of three different blade configurations reveal that the use of mixed-aerofoil blades leads to a significant increase in starting capability. The improved starting capability effectively reduces the time that the turbine takes to reach its power-extraction period and, hence, an increase in overall energy yield. The increase can be as high as 40%. Investigations into H-Darriues turbine self-starting capability were made through the analogy between the aerofoil in Darrieus motion and flapping-wing flow mechanisms. The investigations reveal that the unsteadiness associated with the rotor is key to predicting its starting behaviour and the accurate prediction can be made when this transient aerofoil behaviour is correctly modelled. The investigations based upon the analogy also indicate that the unsteadiness can be exploited to promote the turbine ability to self-start. Aerodynamically, this exploitation is related to the rotor geometry itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wind Turbine ; Starting behaviour ; Horizontal-axis ; Vertical-axis ; Aerofoil performance ; Low Reynolds number ; High angle of attack