Optimization of a Small Wind Turbine for a Rural Area: A Case Study of Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Energies, 2020, 13
Issue Date:
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The performance of a wind turbine is profoundly affected by wind conditions. Small wind turbines usually achieve the demand for electricity in rural areas. The shape of the blade greatly influences the performance of the wind turbine. The present study aims to optimize the performance of a 20 kW horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) under local wind conditions at Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia. ANSYS Fluent was used to investigate the aerodynamic performance of the 20 KW HAWT. The effects of four Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) turbulence models on predicting the flow over the wind turbine under separation condition were examined. Transition SST model had the best agreement with NREL CER data, which was used to investigate the mechanical output at different rotational speeds and variable pitch angles. Then the aerodynamic shape of the rotor of the wind turbine was optimized to maximize the annual energy production (AEP) in the Deniliquin region. Statistical wind analysis was applied to define the Weibull function and scale parameters which were 2.096 and 5.042 m/s, respectively. HARP_Opt was enhanced with design variables concerning the shape of the blade, rated rotational speed, and pitch angle. Pitch angle remained at 0ᵒ while the rising wind speed improved rotor speed to 148.4482 rpm at rated speed. This optimization improved the AEP rate by 9.068% when compared to the original NREL design.
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