Nowadays, small vertical axis wind turbines are receiving more attention due to their suitability in micro-electricity generation. There are few vertical axis wind turbine designs with good power curve. However, the efficiency of power extraction has not been improved. Therefore, an attempt has been made to utilize high lift technology for vertical axis wind turbines in order to improve power efficiency. High lift is obtained by double-element airfoil mainly used in aeroplane wing design. In this current work a low Reynolds number airfoil is selected to design a double-element airfoil blade for use in vertical axis wind turbine to improve the power efficiency. Double-element airfoil blade design consists of a main airfoil and a slat airfoil. Orientation of slat airfoil is a parameter of investigation in this paper and air flow simulation over double-element airfoil. With primary wind tunnel test an orientation parameter for the slat airfoil is initially obtained. Further a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to obtain the aerodynamic characteristics of double-element airfoil. The CFD simulations were carried out using ANSYS CFX software. It is observed that there is an increase in the lift coefficient by 26% for single-element airfoil at analysed conditions. The CFD simulation results were validated with wind tunnel tests. It is also observe that by selecting proper airfoil configuration and blade sizes an increase in lift coefficient can further be achieved.
Journal of Physics: Conference Series (online), 2014, Vol 524, Issue 1