Smart Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

AGL Torrens Island is to continue its support for small high efficiency wind turbine technology.

AGL Torrens Island is providing $10,000 and a secure location for the ‘Smart Vertical Axis Wind Turbine’ Project being undertaken by a combination of Aerospace and Mechatronics final year students from the School of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Adelaide. The five students under the supervision of Dr. Maziar Arjomandi intend to continue the 2010 Vertical Axis Smart Turbine project.

The existing unit will be modified with the installation of new composite blades and evaluated with computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis packages. The intention is to further increase the efficiency of the system in turning wind energy into mechanical energy through the modelling of the localised circulation of the air over the blades and integration with a new control system that changes the pitch of each individual turbine blade.

Construction is intended to be completed by the end of June with testing taking place for a period of three to four months. Power output, aerodynamic performance and response times will be recorded and analysed to enable optimisation of the system for the urban environment. Its maintenance schedule and noise signature will also be compared to a commercial small wind turbine enabling direct comparisons. Enabling future end users to be confident of the advantages of a Smart Vertical Axis Wind Turbine.

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