Dynamic Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Loads for a Horizontal Axis Micro Wind Turbine

  • F. CastellaniEmail author
  • M. Becchetti
  • D. Astolfi
  • F. Cianetti
Conference paper
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The optimal use of micro wind energy conversion systems is not only a matter of efficiency, but it also involves a number of issues related to the technology and the dimensions of the system in relation with the environment. The growing request of micro wind energy technology for urban areas is nowadays stimulating the research on several subjects. Structural safety is crucial, in order to prevent damages in case of gusts. Noise and vibration assessment and minimization is another relevant issue too, especially for horizontal axis machines with higher efficiency and larger rotational speed. On these grounds, in this work a horizontal axis wind turbine having 2 m of rotor diameter is studied experimentally and numerically. Experimental tests have been performed with steady and unsteady wind conditions and accelerations have been collected, at meaningful operating conditions of the wind turbine, and consequently analyzed. The analysis of the experimental spectra is compared against numerical simulations performed with the aeroelastic code Fatigue, Aerodynamics, Structures and Turbulence (FAST) and this allows to interpret the complex load structure to which the wind turbine is subjected. In particular, evidence of the blade-passing phenomenon is collected: due to the small size of the system, the tower and blades undergo an interesting mechanical interplay.


Wind energy Small wind turbine Aerodynamics Aeroelasticity Vibrations 



This research activity was partially supported by Italian PRIN funding source (Research Projects of National Interest—Progetti di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale) through a financed project entitled SOFTWIND (Smart Optimized Fault Tolerant WIND turbines).


  1. 1.
    Alpman, E.: Aerodynamic performance of small-scale horizontal axis wind turbines under two different extreme wind conditions. J. Thermal Eng. 1(3), 420–432 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bradney, D., Evans, S., Da Costa, M.S.P., Clausen, P.: Comparison of computational modelling and field testing of a small wind turbine operating in unsteady flows. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 753, p. 082029. IOP Publishing (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dolan, D.S., Lehn, P.W.: Simulation model of wind turbine 3p torque oscillations due to wind shear and tower shadow. IEEE Trans. Energy Convers. 21(3), 717–724 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gagliano, A., Nocera, F., Patania, F., Capizzi, A.: Assessment of micro-wind turbines performance in the urban environments: an aided methodology through geographical information systems. Int. J. Energy Environ. Eng. 4(1), 43 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grieser, B., Sunak, Y., Madlener, R.: Economics of small wind turbines in urban settings: an empirical investigation for germany. Renew. Energy 78, 334–350 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ishugah, T., Li, Y., Wang, R., Kiplagat, J.: Advances in wind energy resource exploitation in urban environment: a review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 37, 613–626 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    James, P., Sissons, M., Bradford, J., Myers, L., Bahaj, A., Anwar, A., Green, S.: Implications of the UK field trial of building mounted horizontal axis micro-wind turbines. Energy Policy 38(10), 6130–6144 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jonkman, J.M., Buhl Jr., M.L., et al.: Fast users guide. Technical report REL/EL-500-38230, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lee, S., Lee, S.: Numerical and experimental study of aerodynamic noise by a small wind turbine. Renew. Energy 65, 108–112 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lubitz, W.D.: Impact of ambient turbulence on performance of a small wind turbine. Renew. Energy 61, 69–73 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mariani, F., Poggiani, C., Risi, F., Scappaticci, L.: Formula-sae racing car: experimental and numerical analysis of the external aerodynamics. Energy Procedia 81, 1013–1029 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mariani, F., Risi, F., Bartolini, N., Castellani, F., Scappaticci, L.: Spoilers optimization to reduce the induced stresses on a racing helmet. Technical report, SAE Technical Paper (2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moaveni, S.: Finite Element Analysis Theory and Application with ANSYS, 3rd edn. Pearson Education India (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mollasalehi, E., Sun, Q., Wood, D.: Contribution of small wind turbine structural vibration to noise emission. Energies 6(8), 3669–3691 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pagnini, L.C., Burlando, M., Repetto, M.P.: Experimental power curve of small-size wind turbines in turbulent urban environment. Appl. Energy 154, 112–121 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rahman, M., Ong, Z.C., Chong, W.T., Julai, S., Khoo, S.Y.: Performance enhancement of wind turbine systems with vibration control: a review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 51, 43–54 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Scappaticci, L., Risitano, G., Battistoni, M., Grimaldi, C.: Drag optimization of a sport motorbike. Technical report, SAE Technical Paper (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scappatici, L., Bartolini, N., Castellani, F., Astolfi, D., Garinei, A., Pennicchi, M.: Optimizing the design of horizontal-axis small wind turbines: from the laboratory to market. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 154, 58–68 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tabrizi, A.B., Whale, J., Lyons, T., Urmee, T.: Performance and safety of rooftop wind turbines: use of CFD to gain insight into inflow conditions. Renew. Energy 67, 242–251 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tabrizi, A.B., Whale, J., Lyons, T., Urmee, T., Peinke, J.: Modelling the structural loading of a small wind turbine at a highly turbulent site via modifications to the kaimal turbulence spectra. Renew. Energy 105, 288–300 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Taylor, J., Eastwick, C., Lawrence, C., Wilson, R.: Noise levels and noise perception from small and micro wind turbines. Renew. Energy 55, 120–127 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tummala, A., Velamati, R.K., Sinha, D.K., Indraja, V., Krishna, V.H.: A review on small scale wind turbines. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 56, 1351–1371 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Castellani
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Becchetti
    • 1
  • D. Astolfi
    • 1
  • F. Cianetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EngineeringUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

Personalised recommendations