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research-article

Ducted Wind Turbine Optimization

[+] Author and Article Information
Ravon Venters

Graduate Research Assistant, Mechanical and Aeronautical, Engineering Department, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 13699-5725, USA
venterrm@clarkson.edu

Brian Helenbrook

Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical, Engineering Department, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 13699-5725, USA
helenbrk@clarkson.edu

Kenneth D. Visser

Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical, Engineering Department, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 13699-5725, USA
visser@clarkson.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037741 History: Received March 10, 2016; Revised August 01, 2017

Abstract

Ducted wind turbines (DWT) present a viable alternative to open-rotor wind turbines, by increasing the momentum through the turbine, thereby improving the power output. This study presents a numerical optimization of the duct configuration to maximize power output. The cross-section of the duct is an Eppler 423 airfoil, which is a cambered airfoil with a high lift coefficient (C_L). The rotor was modeled as an actuator disc and the Reynolds-averaged-Navier-Stokes (RANS) k-epsilon model was used to simulate the flow. To verify the accuracy of this formulation, 2D numerical simulations of the airfoil were compared to experimental data. The 2D airfoil results followed the same trend as experimental data predicting the angle of attack of maximum lift to within a few degrees, but over predicted the coefficient of lift by 15%. Using the k-epsilon model, an axisymmetric DWT geometry was optimized. It was determined that that the optimal coefficient of thrust is similar to an open rotor. The optimal angle of attack of the duct was much larger than the separation angle of attack of the airfoil in a freestream. For the same rotor area, the power output of the largest DWT was 66% greater than an open rotor because of the flow induced by the duct. For the same total cross sectional area of the entire device, the DWT also outperformed an open rotor, exceeding Betz's limit by a small margin.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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