Design for urban vertical-axis wind turbines: balancing performance and noise

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

49 Downloads (Pure)


In urban areas, vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) show promise due to their omnidirectional design, addressing challenges faced by traditional horizontal-axis turbines (HAWTs). Despite significant progress in urban VAWTs, extensive multidisciplinary research is needed to optimise their efficiency and use in such environments.

This dissertation addresses this gap in four aspects. First, a low-fidelity noise model based on state-of-the-art literature is developed, allowing fast, acceptable, and accurate predictions for preliminary design stages of the primary noise sources on an urban VAWT. Then, a wind speed estimator and tip-speed ratio (WSE-TSR) tracking controller is designed to maximise the power production of an urban VAWT in turbulent wind conditions. This WSE-TSR tracking controller turned out to be an ill-posed problem, impacting the turbine and controller performance in the presence of model uncertainty. Follows the presentation of an approach that combines frequency-domain analysis and multi-objective optimisation, demonstrating its effectiveness in assessing and calibrating torque control strategies, thereby contradicting earlier assumptions and establishing new perspectives on performance optimisation for real-world wind turbines. Based on these collective findings, a decision-making framework is derived, capable of striking a balance between VAWT performance and noise acceptance, allowing for the first time to consider psychoacoustic annoyance as a metric.

In summary, this thesis contributes significantly to advancing the understanding of the complex dynamics of VAWTs, specifically focusing on human acoustic perception nearby, laying the groundwork for the successful integration of VAWTs into urban landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van Wingerden, J.W., Supervisor
  • Watson, S.J., Supervisor
  • Mulders, S.P., Advisor
Award date7 Mar 2024
Print ISBNs978-94-6496-046-4
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • vertical-axis wind turbines
  • aerodynamics
  • aeroacoustics
  • control
  • optimisation
  • noise


Dive into the research topics of 'Design for urban vertical-axis wind turbines: balancing performance and noise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this