Rapid depletion rate of fossil fuels with an increasing energy demand and their high emission are imposing the evolution activities in the arena of renewable energy. To meet the future demands of renewable energy sources, wind energy is a very promising concept. In this feature, the drag based vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are suitable for small scale wind energy generation for decentralized locations. However, these turbines have low power and torque coefficients as compared to other wind turbines. Numerous blade shapes have been proposed till now to improve the performance of these turbines. In the present paper, a computational study has been performed to simulate the air-flow over different blade profiles using shear stress transport (SST) k–ω turbulence model. The results obtained are validated with the available experimental data. In the dynamic simulations, the power and torque coefficients are calculated considering the blade arc angle as the variable shape parameter. The effects of drag and lift forces on the variable blade shapes are also studied in static simulations at various angular positions. The present paper tries to demonstrate an effective computational methodology to predict the flow behavior around a drag based VAWT. Through this study, it has been found possible to select an optimal blade shape from the point of its aerodynamic performance.

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