Parametric study of a fan-bladed micro-wind turbine

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1131
Journal / PublicationProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


The present paper investigates the performance of a special micro-wind turbine designed to capture wind energy in rural as well as urban environments. Different from traditional kilo- to megawatt size wind turbines which can be connected directly to the grid, the microwind turbine system is flexible in size and linked with small generators that generate electric power at the site of installation for easy applications. The main advantage of this micro-wind turbine, apart from its low cost, is that it can be propelled by a wind speed as low as 2 m/s. To extract more wind energy, several such micro-wind turbines can be connected together by their external gears into an array to increase their swept areas and hence power. In the study, the performance of a single micro-wind turbine was simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and validated through physical experiments. The experimental results on angular velocity and power developed showed a good agreement with those predicted by the CFD simulation. The validated computer model was then used for a parametric study of the wind turbine with varying blade subtend angles and number of blades, both of which affect the torque acting on the wind turbine and the power performance. The design of the wind turbine blade was optimized through the CFD simulation. This paper considers mainly the aerodynamic performance of a single turbine and issues relating to its practical deployment are not dealt with. © 2011 Authors.

Research Area(s)

  • Aerodynamics, Angular velocity, Solidity, Starting torque, Wind turbine blade