On the Performance of the Savonius Wind Turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
V. J. Modi, M. S. U. K. Fernando

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C., Canada V6T 1W5

J. Sol. Energy Eng 111(1), 71-81 (Feb 01, 1989) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268289 History: Received February 01, 1988; Revised November 01, 1988; Online November 11, 2009


An extensive wind tunnel test program is described which assesses the relative influence of system parameters on the Savonius rotor performance. The parametric study leads to an optimum configuration with an increase in efficiency by around 100 percent compared to the reported efficiency of ≈12–15 percent. Of particular interest is the blockage correction procedure which is vital for application of the wind tunnel results to a prototype design, and facilitates comparison of data obtained by other investigators. Next, using the concept of a central vortex, substantiated by a flow visualization study, a semiempirical approach to predict the rotor performance using measured stationary blade pressure data is developed. The simple approach promises to be quite effective in predicting the rotor performance, even in the presence of blockage, and should prove useful at least in the preliminary design stages.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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