Study of the Self-starting Performance of a Vertical-axis Wind Turbine

Document Type : Regular Article


1 College of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310014, PR China

2 College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310014, PR China



The self-starting performance of vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) is crucial for their widespread utilization. Conventional evaluation methods using the static torque coefficient (CTS) or self-starting time have limitations. "The minimum 1st derivative of angular acceleration in the lift acceleration state" is proposed to serve as a suitable indicator for the completion of self-starting. Understanding the behavior of the self-starting process in VAWTs is crucial for optimizing power output. A comprehensive methodology is used that integrates experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Wind tunnel experiments are conducted to evaluate the self-starting and power output performance of the turbines. CFD is employed utilizing the Fluent 6DOF module to investigate the torque and flow field characteristics during the self-starting process. Additionally, the objectives of our study are to investigate the effect of static evaluation methods on the dynamic start-up process and to explore the effects of airfoil type, pitch angle, and inlet wind speed on the self-starting behavior of turbines. The results indicate that a high CTS ensures initial rotation, but the subsequent self-starting time remains independent of this factor. Increasing the pitch angle enhances the self-starting performance. At an inlet speed of 5 m/s, for the NACA2418 airfoil turbine, the self-starting times for pitch angles of 10° and 5° are reduced by 20% and 12%, respectively, compared to that for 0°. The NACA0018 airfoil turbines with pitch angles of 0° and 5° fail to complete self-starting. The airfoil type also plays a crucial role, with the NACA2418 airfoil demonstrating superior self-starting performance and power performance. Furthermore, the minimum self-starting wind speed of the NACA0018 airfoil turbine was explored and determined be between 5.5 m/s and 6 m/s. The utilization of this novel self-starting evaluation method addresses the limitations of traditional approaches, providing a more universally applicable interpretation of the characteristics of turbine self-starting behavior.


Main Subjects

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