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3D CFD modelling of performance of a vertical axis turbine.

Gerrie, Cameron; Islam, Sheikh Zahidul; Gerrie, Sean; Turner, Naomi; Asim, Taimoor


Cameron Gerrie

Sean Gerrie

Naomi Turner


Recently, wind turbine research has switched focus to vertical axis wind turbines due to the extensive research that has been performed on horizontal axis wind turbines and the potential of vertical axis wind turbines in built-up areas. This study aims to analyse the performance of a small-scale hybrid vertical axis wind turbine that can switch from functioning as a Darrieus (lift) turbine to a Savonius (drag) turbine by rotating the blades. The turbine was analysed using 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations in ANSYS Fluent as the primary method, and the findings were verified using wind tunnel experiments. During the analysis, design parameters such as the blade length, diameter, and number of blades were varied to determine if the design had room for improvement. It was found that the current design of the turbine has an optimal efficiency of 12.5% in the Darrieus configuration, which was found to increase when the diameter or blade length was increased. The Savonius configuration was found to be more efficient at low tip-speed ratios (<0.14), and its efficiency could be increased by adding more blades. The experiments found similar trends to the simulations; however, the efficiencies obtained were on average a tenfold increase from the simulation. Implementing the changes that increased efficiency leads to an increased wake recovery distance, making it less suitable for use in a wind farm.


GERRIE, C., ISLAM, S.Z., GERRIE, S., TURNER, N. and ASIM, T. 2023. 3D CFD modelling of performance of a vertical axis turbine. Energies [online], 16(3), article 1144. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 17, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2023
Publication Date Feb 1, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2023
Journal Energies
Electronic ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 3
Article Number 1144
Keywords Vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT); Computational fluid dynamics (CFD); Darrieus; Savonius; Power; Wake; Performance; Wind tunnel
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