Aerodynamic model comparison for an X-shaped vertical-axis wind turbine

A. Giri Ajay, Laurence Morgan, Y. Wu, David Bretos, Aurelio Cascales, Oscar Pires, Carlos Ferreira

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This article presents a comparison study of different aerodynamic models for an X-shaped vertical-axis wind turbine and offers insight into the 3D aerodynamics of this rotor at fixed pitch offsets. The study compares six different numerical models: a double-multiple streamtube (DMS) model, a 2D actuator cylinder (2DAC) model, an inviscid free vortex wake model (from CACTUS), a free vortex wake model with turbulent vorticity (from QBlade), a blade-resolved unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) model, and a lattice Boltzmann method (from PowerFLOW). All models, except URANS and PowerFLOW use the same blade element characteristics other than the number of blade elements. This comparison covers the present rotor configuration for several tip-speed ratios and fixed blade pitch offsets without unsteady corrections, except for the URANS and PowerFLOW which cover a single case. The results show that DMS and 2DAC models are inaccurate – especially at highly loaded conditions, are unable to predict the downwind blade vortex interaction, and do not capture the vertical/axial induction this rotor exhibits. The vortex models are consistent with each other, and the differences when compared against the URANS and PowerFLOW mostly arise due to the unsteady and flow curvature effects. Furthermore, the influence of vertical induction is very prominent for this rotor, and this effect becomes more significant with fixed pitch offsets where the flow at the blade root is considerably altered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-470
Number of pages18
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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