Tow testing of Savonius wind turbine above a bluff body complemented by CFD simulation

Seach Chyr Goh*, Sethu Raman Boopathy, Chidambaresan Krishnaswami, Jörg Uwe Schlüter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


A simple way to improve its power coefficient (cp) of a Savonius turbine is by its installation above a cuboidal building as the building will redirect the wind and increase its speed significantly. To determine the gain, a turbine was constructed and installed above a bluff body and tow tested. Detailed measurements of vehicle speed and turbine power were made. Tow test speeds were 8, 10 and 12 m/s, while TSR range was 0.6-1.1. Most importantly, wind speed at the position beside and slightly above the turbine was measured during test runs. The cp calculated using this measured wind speed was used to validate CFD simulation results. Simulation results were also used to obtain the relationships between the wind speed of the free stream and at the anemometer position. Typically, wind speed at the anemometer position is about 9% higher than those of the free stream. These relationships were used to derive the free stream wind speed of each experimental run. The cp calculated using these derived free stream wind speeds showed an increase of 25% at 12 m/s wind speed, compared to the cp reported by previous researchers for a similar turbine operating in unmodified air flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-345
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Bluff body
  • Building integrated renewable energy
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Savonius
  • Tow testing
  • Wind turbine


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