In this work a novel vertical-axis wind turbine is presented which can catch a wide range of wind velocities at high efficiencies.
The wind turbine consists of a rotatable horizontal platform, where three symmetric blades are arranged which rotate with half of the platform angular speed but in opposite direction relative to it. The rotation of the blades allows them to adapt to the varying angle of attack of the wind during one revolution of the platform. The important characteristic is the design feature that the blades are inclined outwards to the vertical axis of the platform by an angle of about 20 deg. The inclination leads to an increased circumferential velocity along the blade span, so that the increasing wind velocity with height can be better captured. Also the chord length of the blades increases with the spanwise position.
In order to better utilize the wind flow, guide vanes can be arranged which increase the flow to those blades currently moving with the wind and in return flow can even give proper windshield.
The articulated blades are connected to the horizontal platform via a special planetary bevel gear box, so that the relative rotational movement of them is controlled by the rotating platform, in fact a rotating gear box. This unit itself is connected to a generator thus producing electrical energy. The wind turbine can be tracked to a changed wind direction by means of rotating the stationary center bevel-gear wheel, which at given wind direction is then kept at constant position.
In this paper the design of wind turbine is described in detail and the advantages of the novel vertical-axis turbine are discussed. First CFD investigations of a 2D section without guide vanes are presented. They show that maximum power can be achieved for a wide range of speed ratios. The calculated power coefficient is about 0.36, an interesting value for vertical-axis wind turbines.