Wind and Sea
Unconventional Wind Turbine Designs
Julia Cosse, Daegyoum Kim
Our lab is interested in implementing new concepts onto wind turbines, with the aim of improving individual turbine efficiency. Recent work has explored Savonius style vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) with flapping blades. The idea was to utilize the clap-fling mechanism used by insects to improve flight efficiency.
Figure 1: View from above the turbine looking down. As the turbine rotates the blades open and close to improve power output.
Both passive and actuated clapping configurations were tested. We found that the added clap-fling mechanism improved the turbine efficiency from the control case in which the blades were kept open. However, efficiency of the drag-based VAWT was still less efficient compared to their lift-based counterparts