The familiar traditional screw wind turbines will in the future give way to wind farms with more compact and efficient vertical turbines.
A new study from Oxford Brooks University has shown that vertical turbine designs are much more efficient than traditional designs in large wind farms. In addition, when installed in pairs, their productivity is 15% higher than that of horizontal ones.
A research team from the School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics (ECM) in Oxford Brooks led by Professor Yakovos Tsanakis conducted in-depth research. They used more than 11,500 hours of computer simulations to show that wind farms could operate more efficiently if traditional horizontal axis propeller wind turbines (HAWT) were replaced by compact vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT).
The new work demonstrates for the first time on a realistic scale the potential of large-scale VAWTs compared to current HAWT wind turbines.
Modern wind farms are one of the most efficient ways to generate green energy. However, they have one major drawback. As the wind approaches the front row of turbines, turbulence occurs downstream. It negatively affects the performance of subsequent rows.
In other words, the front row will convert about half of the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity, while for the back row this number drops to 25-30%.
In turn, the VAWTs rotate around an axis that is vertical to the ground, as opposed to the HAWT. Research has shown that VAWTs enhance each other’s performance when arranged in a grid. Positioning wind turbines for maximum efficiency is critical when designing wind farms.