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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 1-14

Viscous Flow and Dynamic Stall Effects on Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines

Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, C.P. 6079, Succ. Centre Ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3A7, Canada

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper describes a numerical method, aimed to simulate the flow field of vertical-axis wind turbines, based on the solution of the steady, incompressible, laminar Navier-Stokes equations in cylindrical coordinates. The flow equations, written in conservation law form, are discretized using a control volume approach on a staggered grid. The effect of the spinning blades is simulated by distributing a time-averaged source terms in the ring of control volumes that lie in the path of turbine blades. The numerical procedure used here, based on the control volume approach, is the widely known “SIMPLER” algorithm. The resulting algebraic equations are solved by the TriDiagonal Matrix Algorithm (TDMA) in the r- and z-directions and the Cyclic TDMA in the 0-direction. The indicial model is used to simulate the effect of dynamic stall at low tip-speed ratio values. The viscous model, developed here, is used to predict aerodynamic loads and performance for the Sandia 17-m wind turbine. Predictions of the viscous model are compared with both experimental data and results from the CARDAAV aerodynamic code based on the Double-Multiple Streamtube Model. According to the experimental results, the analysis of local and global performance predictions by the 3D viscous model including dynamic stall effects shows a good improvement with respect to previous 2D models.