Investigation of the Power Generation by Small-Scle Wind Turbines

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Gebel, Till Rune
The area of wind turbines is the subject of many contemporary researches given the importance of the field for electricity production. The purpose of this research project is to use additive manufacturing techniques to 3-D print several resin based wind turbine profiles, and test them for electricity production in the McCoy School of Engineering closed loop wind tunnel at the Midwestern State University. Dif ferent prototypes of wind turbines will be designed, printed, and tested for their performance and power production using a small scale electric generator. Differ ent obstacle designs will be tested to efficiently channel the air flow toward the blades of the wind turbine. This coupling between obstacles and wind turbines is designed to increase the efficiency and the power production of the wind turbine. Inside the wind tunnel, the blades of the wind turbine will be subjected to different wind speeds. Their optimal performance will be experimentally determined using LabVIEW software. This research puts an emphasis on vertical axis wind turbines for the purpose to shift the placement of the gearbox and the generator from high horizontal elevation configuration to a ground level configuration. This design shows to have a significant impact on the efficiency, dimension, cost, and maintenance of the wind turbine themselves. This vertical configuration opens the possibility to equip future wind turbines with a high powered generator. Equipment and supplies for this research requires the purchase of miniature generators, resin for 3D printing of the blades, and electrical measurement devices. A LabVIEW program will be created to monitor continuously the output power of the wind turbine as well as the voltage and current output at different wind speeds and resistance loads. Further more, the flow field around the turbine blades, will be investigated using a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system. The PIV system will be essentially used to check the system design and optimize the flow channeled toward the wind turbine blades. Using the powerful fluid dynamic sofware ANSYS, a simulation will be run to obtain a velocity flow field around the obstacle.
wind turbine, vertical wind turbine, 3-D printing, PIV, CFD, vortex
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