IITD researchers developing methods to improve the efficiency of wind turbines and wind farms.

In an effort to enhance the utilisation and output of wind turbines researchers at IIT Delhi are designing and field testing an array of prototype twin rotor Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) for optimizing the spacing and orientation of twin-rotor turbines in VAWT farms.

In a VAWT the rotor axis is perpendicular to the wind unlike in the case of the Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) wherein it is parallel to the wind. The vertical arrangement permits the placement of the generator and gearbox close to the ground allowing for easy maintenance.

The Rs. 3.65 crore project titled-- Design, Fabrication and Testing of a High Efficiency Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) and optimization of VAWT farm configuration is part of the Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)

It has been shown that in principle the power density (output power / farm foot print area) of the VAWT farms could be as large as 20W/m2 which is 10 times as large as that obtainable from state-of-the-art HAWT farms (Dabiri, 2011).

“Our recent work at IIT Delhi, on a patented-high- efficiency twin-rotor VAWT, indicates that a further enhancement by a factor of 2 or more appears possible (i.e. power densities of 40 W/m2). This implies that the annual energy output of well-designed VAWT farms may be on par with that of solar PV farms,” says Srinivas Veeravalli, Professor in Department of Applied Mechanics and the Principal Investigator of the project.

The main deliverables, he said would be an optimized twin-rotor VAWT prototype with an energy conversion unit for battery storage and/or grid hook-up and an optimized arrangement of turbines in a farm using twin-rotor VAWTs.

Key Milestones:

  • Aerodynamic design of twin-rotor VAWT
  • Design of electrical interface for twin-rotor VAWT
  • Field Site selection and preparation & Fabrication of prototype VAWT
  • Optimization of VAWT farm configuration (Experiments) and construction of Pilot Farm
  • Optimization of VAWT farm configuration (CFD) and Field studies on Pilot Farm
  • Patent Application for optimized VAWT Farm configuration & Report preparation.