Numerical simulation of fluid flow around a vertical-axis turbine

J. P. Abraham, G. S. Mowry, B. P. Plourde, E. M. Sparrow, W. J. Minkowycz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A novel, vertical-axis turbine has been designed to meet a specific power-generation need. It is intended that the turbine will provide local electricity to off-grid cellular communication towers. It is intended that the turbine will reduce or eliminate the use of diesel-power generation for these towers and result in a reduction of operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The design effort has had two main stages. First, a prototype turbine blade was designed and tested in a large-scale wind tunnel. The initial design was based on available literature information. Subsequently, numerical simulations of the fluid flow patterns around the turbine blade were used to create improvements to the design. These improvements include the use of venting apertures in the turbine blade to reduce negative drag and thrust loading and the use of caps to improve power-generation efficiency. Through numerical modeling, significant improvements in performance were achieved resulting in a viable turbine design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033109
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


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