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Title: Experimental and theoretical investigations into the development of an efficient wind turbine
Author: Ikonwa, Charles Amoge
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 691X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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The small-scale wind turbine is considered as one of the most effective renewable technologies due to their potential to provide useful amount of electricity, particularly in ‘‘off-grid’’ settings as well as promising future prospects to decarbonise the power sector and ultimately stabilise energy security. Due to the huge potential of the wind resources and financial incentives, the UK is a promising region for small-scale wind energy development but there has been lack of comprehensive assessment of the wind resource for relevant locations. Thus efficient and low cost techniques are urgently needed to assess the resource potential since the long-term measurement techniques usually employed in the large-scale industry are very expensive and often not feasible for small-scale development. The research developed during this thesis focuses on cost effective techniques for predicting the wind resource using two main approaches, namely the boundary layer meteorology and measure-correlate-predict (MCP). These approaches were evaluated using a long-term dataset from the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis and short-term onsite dataset from meteorological measurement station. To begin with, the performance of a modified methodology based on the boundary layer meteorology was evaluated at four UK sites, and the results were validated using traditional error metrics. Averaged across all sites, the percentage error in the predicted wind power density was found to be about 25% due to the uncertainties associated with the choice of the input parameters. Although the result is very encouraging, it was concluded that such a method is better applied in a ‘‘preliminary’’ analysis to identify viable sites worthy of further investigation. To reduce these uncertainties, an MCP technique was utilised along with onsite measurements over a period of 12 months at a subset of 1 of the 4 UK sites, and the results show a significant improvement on the predicted wind speed and power density. Comparison of both approaches show that the best performing MCP approaches resulted in percentage error in the predicted mean wind speed and power density of 7.2 % and 12.9 % in contrast to the 18.9 % and 17.0% obtained using the boundary layer approach. Seasonal trends, direction behaviours and frequency distribution were analysed and their characteristics reflected the general wind conditions across most UK sites. Based on the output of the wind resource assessment, the potential of a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) was assessed using the double multiple streamtube model. VAWTs based on the Darrieus concept are potentially more efficient and economical, but those with fixed pitch blades are inherently non self-starting and are unsuitable for decentralised application. It is shown that the self-starting problem can be alleviated by a combination of a suitable aerofoil sections, solidity and pitch angles. The thesis provides a technique for inexpensive wind resource assessment where direct long-term measurements are not feasible. In addition, it provides a suitable solution strategy to the problem of self-starting in small-scale fixed pitch wind turbines.
Supervisor: Gale, William .F. ; Ma, Lin ; Ingham, Derek ; Pourkashanian, Mohamed Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available