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energies

Article
Application of a Diffuser Structure to Vertical-Axis
Wind Turbines
Koichi Watanabe 1, *, Shuhei Takahashi 1 and Yuji Ohya 2
1 Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan;
swvawt@hotmail.co.jp
2 Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan;
ohya@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp
* Correspondence: koichi-watanabe@riam.kyushu-u.ac.jp; Tel.: +81-92-583-7777

Academic Editors: Lance Manuel and Rupp Carriveau


Received: 25 March 2016; Accepted: 16 May 2016; Published: 25 May 2016

Abstract: The effects of using a wind acceleration device (wind lens) with vertical-axis wind turbines
in wind tunnel experiments were examined. A wind lens consists of a diffuser and flanges, and
this study investigated the optimum parameters of their configuration with regard to the power
augmentation of the turbines. The wind lens with a flat-panel-type diffuser demonstrated power
augmentation by a factor of 2.0 compared with an open wind turbine. An increase from 5˝ to 20˝
in the semi-open angle of the diffuser made it possible to generate a 30% high power output over
a wide range of tip speed ratios. On that basis, an optimum semi-open angle was determined.
For the flat-panel-type diffuser, a recommended diffuser length is the half of the throat width, and its
semi-open angle is 20˝ .The inlet enhanced power augmentation over a wide range of tip speed ratios.
The optimum location for the wind lens in the streamwise direction was aligned with the center of
the vertical-axis wind turbines. The diffuser with a curved surface was more effective regarding
power augmentation than flat-panel-type diffusers. The wind lens with a curved surface diffuser
demonstrated power augmentation by a factor of about 2.1 compared with an open wind turbine.
Furthermore, it was demonstrated that a two-bladed wind turbine with symmetric NACA0024-type
airfoils was most suitable for the incorporation of a wind lens to generate higher power output.

Keywords: wind lens; vertical-axis wind turbine; wind acceleration device; wind tunnel experiment

1. Introduction
Wind power generation is proportional to the cubed wind speed, and therefore a large increase
in output is realized by even a slight increase in the speed of the wind approaching a wind turbine.
To exploit this phenomenon, Ohya et al. [1,2] developed a wind turbine system that consisted
of a diffuser shroud with a broad-ring flange at the exit periphery and a wind turbine within it.
The flanged-diffuser shroud (called wind lens) improved power output tremendously by collecting
and accelerating the approaching wind. Although there have been several studies of collecting wind
energy for wind turbines reported so far [3], Ohya et al. showed that the sizes and configurations of
diffuser shroud and broad-ring flange are important for wind lens [2]. Various styles of wind lens
have been applied to horizontal-axis wind turbines [2], and similar technology should be effective for
vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs).
VAWTs have favorable features such as omnidirectionality, ease of fabrication, and stability that is
achieved by placing a heavy generator on the ground. Many earlier studies have examined various
aspects of VAWTs, such as developments of airfoils [4,5], numerical simulations of flows around
the turbines [6–9], flow visualizations [10], and the applications of surrounding structures [11–13].

Energies 2016, 9, 406; doi:10.3390/en9060406 www.mdpi.com/journal/energies


Energies 2016, 9, 406 2 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 2 of 14

In previous work, we applied a wind lens lens to


to VAWTs
VAWTs and
and examined
examined the power augmentation effects
using wind tunnel experiments [14–16].
In this study, we
we investigated
investigated the parameters of both configurations of a wind lens (i.e., flange
width, diffuser open angle, diffuser length) and its location in the streamwise direction relative to the
turbine. Power
Power augmentation
augmentation was
was also
also examined
examined when
when the configuration
configuration of the open wind turbine
(e.g., number of turbine blades, airfoil shape, and chord length) was changed. In addition, by varying
the approaching wind speed, we investigated the effect of the Reynolds number on the power output
of a VAWT
VAWT whenwhen combined
combinedwith
withaawind
windlens.
lens.

2. WindTunnel
2. Wind Tunnel Experiments
Experiments
The
The experiments
experiments were were conducted
conducted usingusing the
the large
large boundary-layer
boundary-layer wind wind tunnel
tunnel of of the
the Research
Research
Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan). It
Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan). It has a measurement section has a measurement section of
15.0 m ˆ 3.6 m ˆ 2.0 m (length ˆ width ˆ height) and a maximum wind
of 15.0 m × 3.6 m × 2.0 m (length × width × height) and a maximum wind speed of 30 m/s. To avoid speed of 30 m/s. To avoid
blockage effects, we
blockage effects, weremoved
removedthe theceiling
ceilingand
andthe thewalls
walls onon
bothboth sides
sides within
within 6 m6 of
m theof the center
center of theof
the measurement
measurement section.
section. The approaching
The approaching wind speeds
wind speeds U0 used U0inused in the experiments
the experiments were 6 m/s were 6 m/s
(Sections
(Sections 3–5), and 6, 8, and
3–5), and 6, 8, and 10 m/s (Section 6). 10 m/s (Section 6).
The
The blades
blades andandarmsarmsofofthe thewind
windturbines
turbines were
werefabricated
fabricated of wood.
of wood. As As
shownshownin Figure
in Figure1, ` is
1, the
l is
blade length (0.7 m), D wt is the diameter of rotation (0.7 m), and c is the chord
the blade length (0.7 m), Dwt is the diameter of rotation (0.7 m), and c is the chord length (mainly 0.15 length (mainly 0.15 or
0.1 m). The ratio of D
or 0.1 m). The ratio ofwtDwt/T /T = 0.19, where T is the width of the measurement
w w = 0.19, where Tww is the width of the measurement section. The turbinesection. The turbine
blades
blades had linear shape in the
had linear shape in the vertical
vertical direction.
direction. TheThe shapes
shapes of of the
the airfoils
airfoils mainly
mainly conformed
conformed to to the
the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) airfoils, although
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) airfoils, although an arc-shaped airfoil was an arc-shaped airfoil was
used
used for
for the
the experiments
experiments considering
considering the the effect
effect of
of the
the Reynolds
Reynolds number
number (Section
(Section 6). Based on
6). Based on the
the
coordinate
coordinate system shown in Figure 1, the center of the wind turbine was located above the floorthe
system shown in Figure 1, the center of the wind turbine was located above the floor of of
wind tunnel
the wind at z at
tunnel = 0.7
z = m.
0.7 m.
A torque transducer
A torque transducer (rating:
(rating: 55 N N m)
m) was
was connected
connected to to the
the wind
wind turbine
turbine andand anan ACAC torque
torque motor
motor
brake was set under it for the loading. See Table 1 for specifications on the
brake was set under it for the loading. See Table 1 for specifications on the transducer. We measured transducer. We measured
the torque Q
the torque Q (N
(N m)m)withwithan anaccuracy
accuracyofof±0.2%
˘0.2% andand rotational
rotational speed
speed n ofn the
of the
windwind turbine
turbine underunder
the
the condition of gradually increasing the turbine load from zero. The
condition of gradually increasing the turbine load from zero. The calculated power outputs P (W) = calculated power outputs
P
Q (W)
× 2πn=Q are 2πn areasshown
ˆshown as performance
performance curves. curves.

Dwt

z
y x

Figure 1. Vertical-axis wind turbine used in the wind tunnel experiments.


Figure 1. Vertical-axis wind turbine used in the wind tunnel experiments.
Energies 2016, 9, 406 3 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 3 of 14

Table1.
Table Torque transducer
1.Torque transducerand
andAC
ACservo-control
servo-controlsystem.
system.

Device
Device Manufacturer
Manufacturer Model
Model Measurement
MeasurementAccuracy
Accuracy
Torque detector ONO SOKKI Co. Ltd. SS-100
Torque detector ONO SOKKI Co. Ltd. SS-100 ±0.2% F.S
Torque converter (Kanagawa, Japan) TS-2600 ˘0.2% F.S
Torque converter (Kanagawa, Japan) TS-2600
SANYO DENKI Co. Ltd.
AC servo-control system SANYO DENKI Co. Ltd. PY0A 150A -
AC servo-control system (Tokyo, Japan) PY0A 150A -
(Tokyo, Japan)
3. Application of a Wind Lens with a Flat-Panel-Type Diffuser
3. Application of a Wind Lens with a Flat-Panel-Type Diffuser
3.1. Configuration of the Wind Lens
3.1. Configuration of the Wind Lens
As shown in Figure 2, the VAWT was installed with a wind lens that was symmetrical about the
As shown in Figure 2, the VAWT was installed with a wind lens that was symmetrical about the
direction of flow. The wind turbine had two blades (c = 0.15 m, airfoil: NACA0018) and the arms of the
direction of flow. The wind turbine had two blades (c = 0.15 m, airfoil: NACA0018) and the arms of
wind turbine held the blades at a distance of 0.4c m from the leading edge. The wind lens made of
the wind turbine held the blades at a distance of 0.4c m from the leading edge. The wind lens made of
aluminum pipes and polystyrene panels and the diffuser unit consisted of flat panels. In Figure 2a,
Laluminum pipes length
is the diffuser and polystyrene panels
(m), h is the andwidth
flange the diffuser
(m), φunit consisted
is the of flat
semi-open panels.
angle In Figure
of the L is
2a,(°),
diffuser
the diffuser length (m), h is the flange width (m), ϕ is the semi-open angle of the diffuser (˝ ), D (=0.8 m)
D (=0.8 m) is the distance between the two sides of the wind lens at the throat, and W (=1.79D m) is
is the
the distance
height between
of the the two
wind lens. The sides
wind of thecovered
lens wind lens
theat the throat,
VAWT and W in
thoroughly (=1.79D m) is direction
the vertical the heighttoof
the wind lens. The wind lens covered the VAWT thoroughly in the vertical direction
minimize the influence of three-dimensional flows around the wind lens (i.e., l = 0.7 m, W = 1.43 m, to minimize the
influence
and of three-dimensional
the center of the wind turbine flows
wasaround
locatedthe windthe
above lens (i.e.,of`the
floor = 0.7 m, W
wind = 1.43
tunnel at m,
z =and the center
0.7 m).
of the wind turbine was located above the floor of the wind tunnel at z = 0.7 m).

y
φ

Flow o x
D W
Rotation

h
L L
Flow
(a) Plan view (b) Photograph

Figure 2.
Figure Configuration of
2. Configuration of the
the wind
windlens:
lens:(a)
(a)plan
planview
view(the
(theheight
heightofofthe wind
the lens
wind is W);
lens and
is W); in situ
(b)(b)
and in
photograph (L = 1.14D m, ϕ = 10 ˝ , h = 0.5D m).
situ photograph (L = 1.14D m, φ = 10°, h = 0.5D m).

3.2. Effect of Flange Width


3.2. Effect of Flange Width
Figure 3 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ. The power coefficient is defined
Figure 3 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ. The power coefficient is
as Cp = P/(0.5 ρ¨ U0 3 ¨ A), where A (=` D ¨ m) is the profile of the rotor area in the streamwise direction.
defined as Cp = P/(0.5 ρ·U03· A), where Awt(=l Dwt·
m) is the profile of the rotor area in the streamwise
The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the semi-open angle ϕ was 20˝ , and the location of the wind lens
direction. The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the semi-open angle φ was 20°, and the location of the
in the streamwise direction was aligned with the center of the wind turbine (x = 0 m). We compared
wind lens in the streamwise direction was aligned with the center of the wind turbine (x = 0 m). We
the power augmentation effects between h = 0.25D and h = 0.5D m. The results showed that a wind
compared the power augmentation effects between h = 0.25D and h = 0.5D m. The results showed that
lens with wide flanges was more effective than one with narrow flanges. Furthermore, the power
a wind lens with wide flanges was more effective than one with narrow flanges. Furthermore, the
augmentation with the wind lens was a factor of 2.6 times that of an open wind turbine.
power augmentation with the wind lens was a factor of 2.6 times that of an open wind turbine.
Energies 2016, 9, 406 4 of 14
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Energies 2016,
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×2.6

Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Figure Power
3. Power coefficient
Power coefficient
coefficient CC of wind
Cppp of wind turbines
turbines with
with and
and without
without
without aaa wind
wind lens
wind lens vs.
lens vs. tip speed
vs. tip speed ratio
ratio
ratio λλ
λ
(diffuser
(diffuser length:
length: LL
(diffuserlength: L === 1.14D
1.14D m).
m). Refer to
m). Refer to Figure
Figure 22 for
for h,
for h, D,
h, D, L,
D, L, and
L, and φ.
and ϕ.
φ.

3.3.
3.3.
3.3. Effect
Effect of
of Open Angle
Open Angle of
Angle of Diffuser
of Diffuser
Diffuser
Figure
Figure 444 shows
Figure shows power
shows power coefficient
power coefficient curves
coefficient curves
curves against speed ratio λλ
against tip speed when
λ when the
when the open
the open angle
open angle of
angle of the
of the
the
diffuser
diffuser
diffuser ϕφ was
φ was varied
was varied from
varied from 5°
˝
from 55° to to 20°.
to 20˝ The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the flange
20°.. The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the flange width width h was
width hh was
was
0.5D
0.5D m,
0.5D m, and
m, and the
and the location
the location
location of of the
of the wind
the wind lens
wind lens in
lens in the
in the streamwise
the streamwise direction
streamwise direction was
direction was aligned
was aligned with
aligned with the
with the center
the center of
center of
of
the
the wind
wind turbine
turbine
the wind turbine (x =(x
(x =
= 0 m). The results showed that the
The results showed that the larger larger the semi-open angle of the diffuser,
diffuser, the
the
diffuser, the
greater
greater the
greater the increase
the increase
increase ofof
of CC
Cppp. Furthermore, the the increase in the semi-open angle of the diffuser
the diffuser made
diffuser made
made it it
it
possible
possible to
possible to generate
to generate higher
generate higher
higherpowerpower output
poweroutput over
overaaawider
outputover wider range
widerrange of
rangeof tip
oftip speed
tipspeed ratios.
speedratios.
ratios.

Figure 4.
Figure 4.
Figure Power
4. Power coefficient
Power coefficient C
coefficient C of
Cppp of wind
of wind turbines
wind turbines with
turbines with and
with and without
without aaa wind
and without wind lens
wind lens vs.
lens vs. tip
vs. tip speed
tip speed ratio
ratio λλ
speed ratio λ
(diffuser length:
(diffuserlength:
(diffuser L = 1.14D m).
length: LL == 1.14D m). Refer to Figure 2 for
m). Refer to Figure 2 for h,
for h, D,
h, D, and
D, and L.
and L.
L.

We also
We also compared
compared CC
also compared between
Cppp between
between windwind lenses
wind lenses with
lenses with the
with the same
the same projection
same projection area
projection area in
area in the
in the streamwise
the streamwise
streamwise
We
direction but
direction but different
but different semi-open
different semi-open
semi-openanglesangles and
anglesand flange
andflange widths
flangewidths (see
widths(see Figure
(seeFigure 5).
Figure5). The
5).The difference
Thedifference
differenceinin
inCC was
Cppp was not
was not
not
direction
large
large within
within the
the range
range of
of λ
λ >
> 2
2 and
and for
for maximum
maximum C
C p
p;; however,
however, in
in the
the range
range of
of λ
λ ≤
≤ 2,
2, the
the wind
wind lens
lens with
with
large within the range of λ > 2 and for maximum Cp ; however, in the range of λ ď 2, the wind lens with
the larger
larger semi-open
the larger semi-open angle of the diffuser generated higher power output. Specifically, wind lenses with
the semi-openangle
angleofofthethediffuser
diffusergenerated
generatedhigher power
higher output.
power Specifically,
output. windwind
Specifically, lenses with
lenses
larger semi-open
largerlarger
semi-open angles
angles of the
of the diffuser can generate higher power output over a wider range of
of tip
with semi-open angles ofdiffuser can can
the diffuser generate higher
generate power
higher output
power overover
output a wider range
a wider range tip
of
speed
speed ratios
ratios when
when those
those wind
wind lenses
lenses have
have the
the same
same projection
projection area
area within
within the
the streamwise
streamwise direction.
direction.
tip speed ratios when those wind lenses have the same projection area within the streamwise direction.
Energies 2016,9,9,406
Energies2016, 406 55ofof14
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Energies 2016, 9, 406 5 of 14

(a) (b) (c)


(a) (b) (c)
Figure 5. (a) Power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
Figure 5. (a) Power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
Figure 5. (a)
(diffuser Power
length: 1.14D m);C(b)
L =coefficient p of wind
plan turbines
view of the with
windand
lenswithout
of type aA;wind
and lens vs. tip
(c) plan viewspeed ratio
of the windλ
(diffuserlength:
(diffuser length: LL == 1.14D
1.14D m);
m); (b)
(b) plan
plan view
view of
of the
the wind
wind lens
lens of
of type
type A;
A; and
and (c)
(c) plan
plan view
view of
of the
the wind
wind
lens of type B. Refer to Figure 2 for h, D, and L.
lens of
lens of type
type B.
B. Refer
Refer toto Figure
Figure22for
forh,h,D,
D,and
andL.
L.

3.4. Effect of Diffuser Length


3.4. Effect
3.4. Effect of
of Diffuser
Diffuser Length
Length
The previous section confirmed the effectiveness of the semi-open angle of the diffuser on Cp.
The previous
The previous section
section confirmed
confirmed the the effectiveness
effectiveness ofof the
the semi-open
semi-open angle
angle ofof the
the diffuser
diffuser on C Cpp..
Making the diffuser length shorter without changing B (see Figure 6) creates a larger semi-openon angle.
Making the
Making the diffuser
diffuser length
length shorter without
without changing B B (see Figure
Figure 6) creates aa larger semi-open angle.
Therefore, we configured ashorter
wind lens withchanging
half-length(see
diffuser (L 6) createsm)
= 0.57D larger semi-open
and examined its angle.
effect.
Therefore,
Therefore, we configured a wind lens with half-length diffuser (L = 0.57D m) and examined its
its effect.
The flangewe configured
width a wind
h was 0.5D m. lens
The with half-length
results diffuser
showed that a wind(L =lens
0.57D m)a and
with examined
larger semi-open effect.
angle,
The flange
The flange width hh waswas 0.5D
0.5D m.
m. The
The results
results showed
showed that
that aa wind
wind lens
lens with
with aa larger
larger semi-open
semi-open angle,
created bywidthshortening the length of the diffuser, could generate higher power output over aangle,
wider
created
created by
by shortening
shortening the
the length
length of
of the
the diffuser,
diffuser, could
could generate
generate higher
higher power
power output
output over aa wider
over wider
range of tip speed ratios. Furthermore, the maximum Cp was also increased.
range of
range of tip
tip speed
speed ratios.
ratios. Furthermore,
Furthermore, the the maximum
maximum CCpp waswas also
also increased.
increased.

(a) (b) (c)


(a) (b) (c)
Figure 6. (a) Power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
Figure 6. (a)
Figure 6. (a) Power coefficient CCpp of wind turbines with
Power coefficient with and
and without
without aa wind lens vs.
wind lens vs. tip
tip speed
speed ratio
ratio λλ
(flange width: h = 0.5D m); (b) plan view of the wind lens of type C; and (c) plan view of the wind lens
(flange width:hh== 0.5D
(flangewidth: 0.5D m);
m); (b)
(b) plan
plan view
view of
of the
the wind
wind lens
lens of
of type
type C;
C; and
and (c)
(c) plan
plan view
view ofof the
the wind
wind lens
lens
ofoftype
typeD.
D.Refer
RefertotoFigure
Figure22for
forh,h,and
andD.
D.
of type D. Refer to Figure 2 for h, and D.

With consideration of higher power output, we examined the effect of φ, using a wind lens with
Withconsideration
With considerationof ofhigher
higherpower
poweroutput,
output,weweexamined
examinedthe theeffect
effectof
ofϕ,φ, using
using aa wind
wind lens
lens with
with
short-type diffuser (L = 0.57D m). We varied the semi-open angle of the diffuser φ from 10° to 30°.
˝ to ˝.
short-type diffuser
short-type diffuser (L(L == 0.57D m). We varied the semi-open angle of the diffuser ϕ φ from 1010° 30°.
30
Figure 7 shows the power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ. For the case of φ = ˝30°, Cp hits
Figure 77shows
Figure showsthe thepower
powercoefficient
coefficientcurves
curvesagainst
againsttiptipspeed
speed ratio
ratio λ. λ.
ForFor
thethe case
case of of
ϕ= φ 30 , CpChits
= 30°, p hits
a
a peak and it underruns the value of Cp for the case of φ = 20°, except around the peak. This indicates
˝ , except
a peak
peak and
and it underruns
it underruns the
the value
value CpCfor
ofof p for thecase
the caseofofϕφ==20 20°, exceptaround
aroundthe thepeak.
peak. This
This indicates
indicates
the existence of an optimum upper limit for the semi-open angle of the diffuser.
the existence
the existence of of an
an optimum
optimum upper
upper limit
limit for
forthe
thesemi-open
semi-openangleangleof ofthe
thediffuser.
diffuser.
Energies 2016, 9, 406 6 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 6 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 6 of 14

Figure
Figure 7. 7. Power
Power coefficientCC
coefficient ofwind
p ppof wind turbines
turbines with
with and
and without
withoutaawind
windlens
lensvs.
vs.tiptipspeed ratio
speed λ λ
ratio
Figure 7. Power coefficient C of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
(diffuser length:
L= L = 0.57D m). Refer to Figure 2 for D, and L.
(diffuser length:
(diffuser length: L =0.57D
0.57Dm).
m).Refer
Referto
toFigure for D,
Figure 22 for L.
and L.
D, and

3.5.3.5. Effect
Effect of of
thethe Inlet
Inlet
3.5. Effect of the Inlet
Figure
Figure 8 shows
8 shows powerpower coefficient
coefficient curves
curves against
against tip speed
tip speed ratioratio
λ whenλ when the part
the inlet inlet part (with
Figure 8 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ when the inlet (with venturi
part (with
venturi
configuration)configuration)
of the wind of the wind
lenswind lens
was lens was
removed. removed. The
The diffuser diffuser length
length Llength L
was 0.57Dwas 0.57D m, the flange
width h
venturi configuration) of the was removed. The diffuser L wasm, the m,
0.57D flange
the flange
waswidth
0.5D hm,
wasand0.5D
the m, and the semi-open
semi-open angle of angle
the of theϕ
diffuser diffuser
was 20 φ
˝ .was 20°. Overall,
Overall, its its absence
width h was 0.5D m, and the semi-open angle of the diffuser φ was 20°. Overall, its absence had littleon
absence had had
little little
effect
effect on the maximum C p, but the shrouded wind turbine without the inlet demonstrated higher
theeffect on theCmaximum
maximum p , but the shrouded
Cp, but thewind turbine
shrouded without
wind thewithout
turbine inlet demonstrated higher output
the inlet demonstrated only
higher
output only within a narrow range of λ. Specifically, the inlet enhances power augmentation over a
within
outputa narrow rangeaof
only within λ. Specifically,
narrow range of λ.theSpecifically,
inlet enhances power
the inlet augmentation
enhances over a wider over
power augmentation rangea of
wider range of tip speed ratios.
tipwider
speedrange
ratios.of tip speed ratios.

Figure 8. Effect of the inlet of the wind lens on power coefficient Cp.
Figure8.8.Effect
Figure Effectofofthe
theinlet
inletof
of the
the wind
wind lens
lens on
on power
powercoefficient
coefficientCC
p. .
p

3.6. Effect of Wind Lens Location


3.6.3.6. Effect
Effect of of Wind
Wind LensLocation
Lens Location
The Venturi shape of a wind lens accelerates the wind at its throat [17]. Therefore, to generate
The Venturi shapeof of a wind lens accelerates thethe wind at
itsits throat [17].Therefore,
Therefore,totogenerate
generate
theThe Venturi
highest shape
power output, a wind lens
the throat accelerates
is the best location wind
forat throat
a horizontal-axis[17]. wind turbine. However,the
the
highest highest
power power output, the throat is the best location for a horizontal-axis wind turbine. However,
the rotor of a output, the throat
VAWT extends is the
in the best location
streamwise for aand
direction, horizontal-axis wind turbine.
therefore consideration However,
should be giventhe
theof
rotor rotor of a VAWT extends instreamwise
the streamwise direction, and therefore considerationshould
shouldbe be given to
to the determination of the optimum position of a VAWT within a wind lens. We examined thegiven
a VAWT extends in the direction, and therefore consideration effect
todetermination
theof the determination of optimum
the optimum position aofVAWT
a VAWT withinwind a wind lens.WeWeexamined
examined theeffect
effect
the location ofofthe the position
wind lens relative toofthe positionwithin
of thea VAWT lens.
in the streamwise thedirection. of
of the location of the wind lens relative to the position of the VAWT in the streamwise direction.
theFigure
location of the power
9 shows wind lens relativecurves
coefficient to theagainst
positiontipofspeed
the VAWT
ratio λinwhenthe streamwise
the locationdirection.
of throat Figure
of the 9
Figure 9 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ when the location of throat of the
shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ when the location
wind lens was moved from x = −Dwt/2 to x = Dwt/2 m. The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the flange of throat of the wind lens
wind lens was moved from x = −Dwt/2 to x = Dwt/2 m. The diffuser length L was 1.14D m, the flange
was moved
width from
h was x =m,
0.5D ´D wt /2
and x = Dwt /2angle
thetosemi-open m. The diffuser
of the length
diffuser φ was L was 1.14D
15°. The m, the
results flangethat
showed widthto h
width h was 0.5D m, and the semi-open angle of the diffuser φ was 15°. The results showed that to
wasgenerate
0.5D m,the andhighest power output,
the semi-open angletheof center of the VAWTs
the diffuser ϕ was 15 (x˝ .= The
0) isresults
the bestshowed
locationthat
for the throat
to generate
generate the highest power output, the center of the VAWTs (x = 0) is the best location for the throat
theofhighest
the wind
powerlens. For the
output, thecase of xof=the
center −DVAWTs
wt/2 m, the(x =maximum
0) is the best Cp location
was the for
lowest. For the
the throat of case of
the wind
of the wind lens. For the case of x = −Dwt/2 m, the maximum Cp was the lowest. For the case of
lens. For the case of x = ´Dwt /2 m, the maximum Cp was the lowest. For the case of x = Dwt /2 m,
Energies 2016, 9, 406 7 of 14

Energies 2016, 9, 406 7 of 14

Cp showed an 9,
Energies 2016, increase
406 in the maximum value, but it did not reach the value for the case 7ofof x14 = 0.
x = Dwt/2 m, Cp showed an increase in the maximum value, but it did not reach the value for the case of
The shape of the power coefficient curve became more peaked when the throat of the wind lens was
xx == 0.
DwtThe shape
/2 m, of the power
Cp showed coefficient
an increase in the curve
maximum became more
value, butpeaked when
it did not thethe
reach throat offor
value thethe
wind
caselens
of
located
was behind
located the wind
behind turbine.
the power ThisThis
wind turbine. is similar to the
is similar curve
to the curve ofofthe
the shrouded
shrouded windturbine
wind turbine with
with no no
x = 0. The shape of the coefficient curve became more peaked when the throat of the wind lens
inlet.inlet.
Based on this result, it is assumed that an inlet is inefficient when located behind a
Based on this result, it is assumed that an inlet is inefficient when located behind a wind turbine. wind turbine.
was located behind the wind turbine. This is similar to the curve of the shrouded wind turbine with no
inlet. Based on this result, it is assumed that an inlet is inefficient when located behind a wind turbine.

Figure
Figure 9. Power
9. Power coefficient
coefficient CpCof
p of wind turbines vs. tip speed ratio λ (diffuser length, L = 1.14D m;
wind turbines vs. tip speed ratio λ (diffuser length, L = 1.14D m;
flange width, h = 0.5D m; semi-open angle
Figure 9. Power coefficient Cp of wind
flange width, h = 0.5D m; semi-open angle ofofdiffuser,
diffuser,
turbines φ speed
vs. tip
ϕ == 15°). Referλto(diffuser
Refer toFigure
15˝ ).ratio Figure 2length,
for h, D, and
2 for h,L D, L. m;
= 1.14D
and L.
flange width, h = 0.5D m; semi-open angle of diffuser, φ = 15°). Refer to Figure 2 for h, D, and L.
The transitions of maximum Cp for the various configurations of the wind lens with a VAWT are
The transitions of maximum Cp for the various configurations of the wind lens with a VAWT
The transitions
summarized in Figure of maximum
10a. WhenCthe p for the various
throat of the configurations
wind lens wasoflocatedthe wind lenscenter
at the with aofVAWT are
the wind
are summarized in Figure 10a. When the throat of the wind lens was located at the center of the
summarized in Figure 10a. When the throat of the wind lens was located
turbine, larger semi-open angles of the diffuser led to an increase of Cpmax. When the throat of the at the center of the wind
wind turbine,
turbine,
wind larger
lenslarger
was semi-open
semi-open
behind the angles
wind anglesof the
turbine, ofdiffuser
the
the diffuser
same toled
ledtendency to was
an increase
an increase of Cpmaxof
produced. Cpmaxthe
. When . When
Generally, throat
larger the throat
ofsemi-
the
of the
openwind
wind angles lens
lens was was behind
of behind the
the wind
the diffuser wind
led to turbine,turbine,
greaterthe the same
same tendency
acceleration tendency
of thewas was produced.
produced. wind
approaching Generally, Generally,
by thelarger
windsemi- larger
lens.
semi-open
When angles
open angles
the throat of
of thethe diffuser
of diffuser
the windled led
lens to
to was greater
greater acceleration
acceleration
in front of the
of theturbine,
of the wind approaching
approaching
larger wind wind by the
by theangles
semi-open wind
wind of lens.lens.
the
When the throat
When
diffuser the to of
ledthroat the wind
of the
a decrease of lens
wind maxwas
Cplens wasinwas
. This infront
frontof
ofthe
the wind
suspected wind turbine,
turbine,
to be due to the larger
larger semi-open
semi-open
widening angles
of theangles
gap of the
of the
between
diffuser
the led to
diffuser
diffuser ledaand
decrease
to athe
decrease
wind Cp
of turbine
of Cp . This
maxmax . Thiswas
through was suspected
suspected
which to be
to bedue
the accelerated duewind
totothe
the widening
widening
could flow.of of
thethe
Based ongap
gap between
between
the above
the diffuser
the diffuser
results, the and
the the
andoptimum windwind turbine
turbine
location through
through
for a windwhichwhich
lens the
inthe accelerated
streamwisewind
theaccelerated wind couldisflow.
could
direction Based
flow.
aligned on on
Based
with thethe
aboveabove
center
results,
of the
results, theVAWT.the optimum location for a wind lens in the streamwise direction
optimum location for a wind lens in the streamwise direction is aligned with the center ofis aligned with the center
of the VAWT.
the VAWT.

(a) (b)
(a) (b)
Figure 10. (a) Maximum power coefficient Cpmax of wind turbines vs. semi-open angle of the diffuser φ;
Figure 10. (a) Maximum power coefficient Cpmax of wind turbines vs. semi-open angle of the diffuser φ;
(b) 10.
Inferred flow whenpowerthe throat of the Cp
wind lens is located in front of the wind turbine. Refer to
Figure (a) Maximum coefficient max of wind turbines vs. semi-open angle of the diffuser
(b) Inferred
Figure h,flow
2 for flow when
D, when
and the throat of the wind lens is located in front of the wind turbine. Refer to
L. the
ϕ; (b) Inferred throat of the wind lens is located in front of the wind turbine. Refer to
Figure 2 for h, D, and L.
Figure 2 for h, D, and L.
4. Application of a Wind Lens with a Curved-Surface-Type Diffuser
4. Application of a Wind Lens with a Curved-Surface-Type Diffuser
4. Application
As shown of ainWindFigureLens
7, the with a Curved-Surface-Type
larger the semi-open angle ofDiffuser
the diffuser becomes, the greater the
As
increase shown
of C in Figure 7, the larger the semi-open angle of the diffuser becomes, the greater the
p; however, Cp reaches a peak when the wind lens incorporates a flat-panel-type diffuser.
As shown
increase of C in Figure 7, the larger the semi-open angle of the diffuser becomes, the greater the
p; however, Cp reaches a peak when the wind lens incorporates a flat-panel-type diffuser.
Preventing this sluggishness might lead to further growth of the power output, and therefore we
increase of C
Preventing ; however, Cp reaches
p this sluggishness a peak
might lead when the wind
to further growth lens
of incorporates a flat-panel-type
the power output, and thereforediffuser.
we
Preventing this sluggishness might lead to further growth of the power output, and therefore we
Energies 2016, 9, 406 8 of 14

Energies 2016, 9, 406 8 of 14


Energies 2016, 9, 406 8 of 14
changed the diffuser to one with a curved surface, based on the expectation that the continuous
changed the diffuser to one with a curved surface, based on the expectation that the continuous
expansion
expansion of of
changed the
thethesemi-open
semi-open
diffuser to one
angle
angle would
withwould
prevent
prevent
a curved
flowseparation.
flow
surface,
separation.
based on the expectation that the continuous
Figure
Figure11
expansion of shows
11theshows the configuration
the configuration
semi-open angle wouldof of a wind
a wind
prevent lens
flow lens
with awith
separation. a curved-surface-type
curved-surface-type diffuser. Thediffuser.
Theconfiguration
configuration
Figure 11 is
is showsbased
based on on
thethe the configuration
configurationofofaawind
configuration of a
wind lenswind lens with a flat-panel-type
lens with aa flat-panel-type
curved-surface-type diffuser diffuser
for which
diffuser. The for
which the semi-open angle ϕ = 20˝ and diffuser length L = 0.57D m. Shortening the width of the
the semi-open angle
configuration is basedφ = on
20°the
andconfiguration
diffuser length ofLa=wind
0.57Dlens
m. Shortening the width ofdiffuser
with a flat-panel-type the flangesfor from
which
hthe
= 0.5D
flanges from tohh== 0.5D
semi-open 0.25D
angletomφhmakes
==20°
0.25D it possible
and m makesfor
diffuser it the broader
possible
length forexpansion
L = 0.57D the of the
m. broader
Shortening diffuser
expansion
the widthof exhaust.
ofthe The wind
thediffuser
flanges exhaust.
from
Thelens
hwindwas
= 0.5D made
lens
to hwas from
made
= 0.25D wooden
from boards
m makes wooden and acrylic
boards
it possible for theandpanels. The
acrylic
broader dimensions
panels.
expansion The
of theof D and W
dimensions
diffuser were
of Dthe
exhaust. Thesame
and W were
wind
theas forwas
lens
same the case
made
as for offrom
the the
caseflat-panel-type
wooden boards diffuser. Furthermore,
and acrylic
of the flat-panel-type we dimensions
used a wind
panels.Furthermore,
diffuser. The weof turbine
usedD anda whose
W were
wind arms
theheld
turbine same
whose
the
as blades
for the at a
case distance
of the of 0.5c m
flat-panel-type from the leading
diffuser. edge,
Furthermore,becausewe Takahashi
used a
arms held the blades at a distance of 0.5c m from the leading edge, because Takahashi et al. [18] wind et al. [18]
turbine have
whoseshown
arms that
held
have
this configuration of a wind
shownthe that
blades at configuration
this a distance ofturbine
of 0.5c m fromisthe
a wind more
leading
turbine efficient
edge,than
is more one Takahashi
because
efficient whose arms
than hold
et al.
one whose [18]
armsthe
haveblades
shown
hold atthat
the a
blades
distance of 0.4c m from athe leading edge. The airfoil type was NACA0018 and
armsthe chord length was a
at a this configuration
distance of 0.4c moffrom wind turbine
the leading is more
edge. efficient
The airfoilthan
typeone
waswhose
NACA0018 hold
andthe theblades
chord at length
0.15 m.
wasdistance
0.15 m. of 0.4c m from the leading edge. The airfoil type was NACA0018 and the chord length was
0.15 m.

Curved-surface-type diffuser h=0.25D


Curved-surface-type diffuser h=0.25D

φ=20°
φ=20°
Flat-panel-type diffuser
Flat-panel-type diffuser

h=0.5D
h=0.5D
(a) (b)
Figure 11. Configuration(a)of the wind lens with a curved-surface-type diffuser:
(b)(a) plan view and (b)
Figure 11. Configuration of the wind lens with a curved-surface-type diffuser: (a) plan view and
in situ photograph. Refer to Figure 2 for D. (a) Plan view; (b) Photograph.
Figure
(b) in 11. Configuration
situ photograph. Referoftothe wind2lens
Figure for with
D. (a)a Plan
curved-surface-type diffuser: (a) plan view and (b)
view; (b) Photograph.
in situ photograph. Refer to Figure 2 for D. (a) Plan view; (b) Photograph.
Figure 12 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ. The shrouded wind turbines
Figure
with 12 shows
a curved surfacepower
diffusercoefficient
demonstrated curves
higheragainst
power tip speed
output thanratio λ. The
turbines with shrouded
a flat-panel-wind
Figure 12 shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λ. The shrouded wind turbines
turbines with a curved
type diffuser over thesurface diffuser
entire range demonstrated
of tip speed ratios.higher power
The wind lensoutput
with athan turbines
curved with a
diffuser
with a curved surface diffuser demonstrated higher power output than turbines with a flat-panel-
flat-panel-type
demonstrateddiffuser over the entirebyrange
power augmentation of tip
a factor speed2.1
of about ratios. The wind
compared withlens withwind
an open a curved diffuser
turbine.
type diffuser over the entire range of tip speed ratios. The wind lens with a curved diffuser
demonstrated
According topower augmentation
the above results for theby a factor
VAWTs andofwind
about 2.1 considered,
lenses compared VAWTs
with anshrouded
open wind turbine.
within
demonstrated power augmentation by a factor of about 2.1 compared with an open wind turbine.
According to the above results
a curved-surface-type diffuserfor the VAWTs
demonstrate and power
higher wind lenses
outputconsidered,
and enhancedVAWTs
powershrouded within a
augmentation
According to the above results for the VAWTs and wind lenses considered, VAWTs shrouded within
over a wider range diffuser
curved-surface-type of tip speed ratios.
demonstrate higher power output and enhanced power augmentation
a curved-surface-type diffuser demonstrate higher power output and enhanced power augmentation
overover
a wider range
a wider of tip
range speed
of tip speedratios.
ratios.

Figure 12. Power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
(curved-surface-type diffuser with flange width: h = 0.25D m). Refer to Figure 2 for h, D, and L.
Figure
Figure 12. 12. Power
Power coefficient
coefficient CpCof
p of wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
wind turbines with and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ
(curved-surface-type diffuser with flangewidth:
(curved-surface-type diffuser with flange width:hh== 0.25D
0.25D m).
m). Refer
RefertotoFigure
Figure2 for h, h,
2 for D,D,
and L. L.
and
Energies 2016, 9, 406 9 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 9 of 14

5. Applicationof
5. Application ofaaWind
Wind Lens
Lens to
to Various
Various Configurations
Configurations of
of Wind
Wind Turbines
Turbines
Sections
Sections 33 and
and 44 examined
examined thethe effects
effects of
of aa wind
wind lens on CCpp when
lens on when changing
changing the
the configuration
configuration of of
the wind lens and its location relative to the VAWT. This section compares the power
the wind lens and its location relative to the VAWT. This section compares the power outputs of an outputs of an
open
open wind
wind turbine
turbine and
and aa wind
wind turbine
turbine with
with aa wind
wind lens
lens when
when changing
changing the
the number
number ofof turbine
turbine blades,
blades,
airfoil
airfoil shape,
shape, and
and chord
chord length.
length. We
We used
used the
the wind
wind lens
lens with
with the
the flat-panel-type
flat-panel-type diffuser
diffuser for
for which
which the
the
diffuser length L = 0.57D m, flange width h = 0.5D m, and semi-open angle of the diffuser ϕ = 20 ˝.
diffuser length L = 0.57D m, flange width h = 0.5D m, and semi-open angle of the diffuser φ = 20°.

5.1.
5.1. Effect
Effect of
of Number
Number of
of Turbine
Turbine Blades
Blades
Figure 13 shows
Figure 13 showspower
powercoefficient
coefficientcurves
curvesagainst
against
tiptip speed
speed ratio
ratio λ when
λ when wind
wind turbines
turbines withwith
two
two and three blades were used. The airfoil type was NACA0018 and the chord
and three blades were used. The airfoil type was NACA0018 and the chord length was 0.15 m. length was 0.15The
m.
The
openopen
windwind turbine
turbine withwith two blades
two blades generated
generated higher
higher power power
outputoutput thanwind
than the the wind turbine
turbine with
with three
three blades, and the maximum
blades, and the maximum Cp was foundC p was found within the higher range of the tip speed
within the higher range of the tip speed ratio for the two-ratio for
the two-bladed
bladed turbine.turbine. The shrouded
The shrouded wind wind turbines
turbines exhibited
exhibited thethe sametendencies,
same tendencies, although
although thethe
incorporation
incorporation of the wind lens led to power augmentation by a factor of 1.9–2.1 compared with
of the wind lens led to power augmentation by a factor of 1.9–2.1 compared with the
the
open
open wind
wind turbine.
turbine.

Figure 13.
13. Comparison
Comparisonofof power
power coefficient Cp ofCtwo-
coefficient and three-bladed wind turbines with and without
Figure p of two- and three-bladed wind turbines with and
a wind lens
without vs. tip
a wind lensspeed
vs. tipratio λ (wind
speed ratio λlens: L =lens:
(wind 1.14D
L= m,1.14D
h = 0.5D
m, hm, φ = 15°).
= 0.5D m, ϕRefer
= 15˝to). Figure 2 Figure
Refer to for L, D,
2
h, and
for φ.h, and ϕ.
L, D,

5.2. Effect of Turbine


5.2. Turbine Blade
Blade Thickness
Thickness
shows power coefficient curves against tip speed ratio λλ when
Figure 14 shows when the
the airfoil
airfoil of
of the
the wind
wind
turbine was
was changed.
changed. The The types of airfoils used were NACA0012, NACA0018, NACA0024, and
were NACA0012, NACA0018, NACA0024,
NACA0030. The
NACA0030. Theblades
bladesofofthese
theseairfoils
airfoils
hadhad different
different thicknesses.
thicknesses. TheThe number
number of blades
of blades was was
two,two,
and
andchord
the the chord length
length was was
0.15 0.15
m. Them. The results
results showed
showed thatthat thicker
thicker turbine
turbine blades
blades led led to the
to the maximum
maximum Cp
C at lower tip speed ratios and that the wind turbine with the NACA0024 airfoil
at lower tip speed ratios and that the wind turbine with the NACA0024 airfoil generated the highest
p generated the
highestoutput.
power power Specifically,
output. Specifically,
the thickesttheblades
thickest blades
do not do not
always always
generate thegenerate the highest
highest power power
output, and
output, and there is an optimum blade thickness for VAWTs. For the cases in which
there is an optimum blade thickness for VAWTs. For the cases in which the wind lens was incorporated the wind lens
was incorporated
with with the
the wind turbines, the wind turbines, the
same tendencies in same
powertendencies
output werein power
produced,output were produced,
although there was
although
power there was power
augmentation augmentation
by a factor of 1.9–2.2by a factor of
compared 1.9–2.2
with compared
the open windwith the open wind turbine.
turbine.
Energies 2016, 9, 406 10 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 10 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 10 of 14

Figure14.
Figure
Figure 14.Power
14. Powercoefficient
Power coefficientC
coefficient CCppp of
of wind
of wind turbines
wind turbines with
turbines with airfoils
with airfoilsof
airfoils ofvarious
of variousthickness
various thicknesswith
thickness withand
with andwithout
and withoutaaa
without
wind
wind lens vs.
lens vs.
wind lens tip
vs. tip speed
tip speed ratio
speed ratio λ (wind
ratio λλ(wind lens: L = 1.14D
lens:LL== 1.14D
(windlens: m, h = 0.5D
m, hh == 0.5D
1.14D m, 0.5D m,m, φ
φ=
m, ϕ = 15°).
˝ Refer to Figure
15 ). Refer to Figure
= 15°). 2 for L,
Figure 22 for
for L, D,
L, D,
D,
h,and
h,
h, andϕ.
and φ.
φ.

5.3. Effect
5.3.
5.3. Effect of
Effect ofChord
of ChordLength
Chord Lengthof
Length ofTurbine
of TurbineBlades
Turbine Blades
Blades
Figure15
Figure
Figure 15shows
15 showspower
shows powercoefficient
power coefficientcurves
coefficient curvesagainst
curves againsttip
against tipspeed
tip speedratio
speed ratioλλλwhen
ratio whenthe
when thechord
the chordlength
chord lengthof
length ofthe
of the
the
turbine
turbine blades
blades was
was changed.
changed. The
The airfoil
airfoil type
type was
was NACA0024,
NACA0024, the
the
turbine blades was changed. The airfoil type was NACA0024, the number of blades was two, and the number
number of
of blades
blades was
was two,
two, and
and the
the
chordlength
chord
chord lengthwas
length was0.10
was 0.10or
0.10 or0.15
or 0.15m.
0.15 m.The
m. Theresults
The resultsshowed
results showedlittle
showed littledifference
little differencein
difference interms
in termsof
terms ofmaximum
of maximumCCCpppbetween
maximum between
between
the
the two
two cases
cases for
for an
an open
open wind
wind turbine;
turbine; the
the turbine
turbine with
with the
the shorter
shorter
the two cases for an open wind turbine; the turbine with the shorter blades generated the maximum blades
blades generated
generated the
the maximum
maximum
CCpppwithin
C withinaaahigher
within higherrange
higher rangeof
range oftip
of tipspeed
tip speedratios
speed ratiosthan
ratios thanthe
than theturbine
the turbinewith
turbine withlonger
with longerblades.
longer blades.For
blades. Forthe
For thecases
the casesin
cases inwhich
in which
which
thewind
the
the windlens
wind lenswas
lens wasincorporated
was incorporated with
incorporated withthe
with thewind
the windturbines,
wind turbines,the
turbines, thesame
the sametendencies
same tendencies in
tendencies inpower
in poweroutput
power outputwere
output were
were
produced,
produced, although
although there
there was
was power
power augmentation
augmentation by
by aa factor
factor
produced, although there was power augmentation by a factor of 2.0 compared with the open wind of
of 2.0
2.0 compared
compared with
with the
the open
open wind
wind
turbine.Figures
turbine.
turbine. Figures13
Figures 13and
13 and15
and 15indicate
15 indicatethat
indicate that
that thethe
the turbine
turbine
turbine with
with
with the the
the lower
lower
lower solidity
solidity
solidity generated
generated
generated the
thethe maximum
maximum
maximum Cp
CCpp within
within
within aa higher
a higherhigher
rangerange
range of tip
of tip
of tip speed
speed
speed ratios.
ratios.
ratios.It isItItais
is aa same
same same tendency
tendency
tendency as previous
previous
as previous
as worksworks
works [19,20].
[19,20].
[19,20].

Figure15.
Figure 15. Comparisonof of powercoefficient
coefficient Cp ofwind
windturbines
turbineswith
withdifferent
differentchord
chordlengths
lengthswith
withand
and
Figure 15. Comparison
Comparison ofpower power coefficientCpCof p of wind turbines with different chord lengths with
without aa wind
without wind lens
lens vs.
vs. tip
tip speed
speed ratio
ratio λλ (wind
(wind lens:
lens: LL == 1.14D
1.14D m, hh == 0.5D
0.5D m,
m, φφ == 15°).
15°). Refer˝to
to Figure
Figure 22
and without a wind lens vs. tip speed ratio λ (wind lens: L = m,1.14D m, h = 0.5D m, ϕRefer
= 15 ). Refer to
for L, D,
for L, D, h, and
h, and φ.
φ.h, and ϕ.
Figure 2 for L, D,

5.4. Effect
5.4. Effect of
ofNumber
NumberofofTurbine
TurbineBlades
Turbine Bladesfor
Blades forCase
for Casewith
Case withsame
with sameSolidity
same Solidity
Solidity
Figure16
Figure 16shows
showspower
powercoefficient
coefficientcurvescurvesagainst
against tiptipspeed
speed ratio
ratio λλλwhen
whenthe
when thenumber
the numberof
number ofturbine
of turbine
turbine
blades and chord lengths were changed but the solidity of
blades and chord lengths were changed but the solidity of the wind turbine remainedthe wind turbine remained the
remained the same.
the same.
same.
Solidity σσis isdefined
is definedas
defined asσσσ===(2
as (2N¨
(2 N·
N· c)/Dwtwt,,,where
c)/D where N is the number of blades.
blades. For
For thethe case
case where
where N N == 2,
2,
Solidity c)/D wt whereN Nis isthe
the number
number of of blades. For the case
c was 0.15 m and where N = 3, c was 0.1 m (σ = 0.86). The results showed little
c was 0.15 m and where N = 3, c was 0.1 m (σ = 0.86). The results showed little difference in terms of difference in terms of
maximum CCpp between
maximum between the
the two
two cases;
cases; however,
however, for for larger
larger values
values ofof N,
N, the
the lower
lower thethe power
power output
output
Energies 2016, 9, 406 11 of 14

c was 0.15 m and where N = 3, c was 0.1 m (σ = 0.86). The results showed little difference in terms
Energies 2016, 9, 406 11 of 14
of maximum Cp between the two cases; however, for larger values of N, the lower the power output
generated
generated within
within the the low
low range
range of
of tip
tip speed
speed ratios.
ratios. Specifically,
Specifically, itit is
is not
not always
always possible
possible to
to obtain
obtain the
the
same
same power output when σ is constant. For the cases in which the wind lens was incorporated with
power output when σ is constant. For the cases in which the wind lens was incorporated with
the
the wind
wind turbines,
turbines, the the same
same tendencies
tendencies in
in power
power output
output were
were produced,
produced, although
although there
there was
was power
power
augmentation
augmentation by by aa factor
factor of
of 2.0–2.1
2.0–2.1 compared
compared with
with the
the open
openwind
windturbine.
turbine.

Figure 16.
Figure 16. Comparison
Comparison of of power
power coefficient
coefficient C
Cpp of
of wind
wind turbines
turbines with
with same
same solidity and different
solidity and different blade
blade
numbers with and without a wind
numbers with and without a wind lens vs. lens vs. tip speed ratio λ (wind lens:
λ (wind lens: L = 1.14D m, h = 0.5D m,
φ = 15°).
ϕ 15 ). Refer
˝ Refer to
to Figure
Figure 22 for
for L,
L, D,
D, h,
h, and
and φ.
ϕ.

Based on
Based on the
the above
above results,
results, the
the incorporation
incorporation ofof aa wind
wind lens
lens demonstrates
demonstrates power
power augmentation
augmentation
equally irrespective of the configuration of the open wind turbine. Therefore, for maximum
equally irrespective of the configuration of the open wind turbine. Therefore, for maximum power power
output, itit is
output, is important
important for
for aa wind
wind lens
lens to
to be
be incorporated
incorporated with
with an
anefficient
efficientopen
openwind
windturbine.
turbine.

6. Effect
6. Effectof
ofReynolds
ReynoldsNumber
Number on
on Power
Power Output
Output
The effect
The effect ofof the
the Reynolds
Reynolds number on the power output of a VAWT VAWT with with aa wind
wind lens
lens was
was
investigated by
investigated by varying
varying the the approaching
approaching wind wind speed
speedUU00.. For
For UU00 == 6,
6, 8,
8, and
and 10 10m/s,
m/s, the
the Reynolds
Reynolds
number, which
number, which isisbasedbasedononthe chord
the chordlength
length(c =(c0.15 m) ofm)
= 0.15 theofturbine blades,blades,
the turbine was 6.0was
× 1046.0 1044,
, 8.0ˆ× 10
andˆ10.0
8.0 4
10 ,× and
10 , respectively.
4 4
10.0 ˆ 10 , The types of airfoil
respectively. used were
The types a symmetric
of airfoil used were NACA0018
a symmetricand anNACA0018
arc-shaped
NACA0018. The arc-shaped airfoil had a centerline of curvature of R =
and an arc-shaped NACA0018. The arc-shaped airfoil had a centerline of curvature of R = Dwt /2 m.D wt/2 m. The curved-surface-
typecurved-surface-type
The diffuser was used with the wind
diffuser lens. with the wind lens.
was used
Figure 17
Figure 17 shows
shows power
power coefficient
coefficient curves
curves against
against tip
tip speed
speed ratio
ratio λ.λ. Higher
Higher values
values ofof power
power
output were
output were generated
generated as as the
the Reynolds
Reynolds number
number increased.
increased. The openopen wind
wind turbine
turbine with
with arc-shaped
arc-shaped
blades did not generate
blades generate as as much
muchpowerpoweras asthe
thewind
windturbine
turbinewith
withsymmetric
symmetricblades. The
blades. Thevalue of of
value Cp
ofp the
C open
of the openwind turbine
wind with
turbine arc-shaped
with arc-shaped blades hadhad
blades highhigh
dependency
dependency on theonReynolds number.
the Reynolds The
number.
Cp ofCthe
The p ofopen
the wind
open turbine with symmetric
wind turbine blades reached
with symmetric a peak asathe
blades reached peakReynolds number increased.
as the Reynolds number
These results
increased. indicated
These resultsthe existencethe
indicated of an upper limit
existence of antoupper
the power
limit enhancement
to the power that can be derived
enhancement that
from the increase of the Reynolds number. For the cases in which the
can be derived from the increase of the Reynolds number. For the cases in which the wind lens wind lens was incorporated
withincorporated
was the wind turbines, with thethewind
same turbines,
tendencies theinsame
powertendencies
output were produced,
in power outputalthough there was
were produced,
power augmentation
although there was power by a augmentation
factor of 2.1–2.2 bycompared
a factor ofwith thecompared
2.1–2.2 open wind withturbine. Furthermore,
the open wind turbine. the
incorporationthe
Furthermore, of the wind lens of
incorporation enhanced
the windthe effect
lens of the Reynolds
enhanced the effect ofnumber on power
the Reynolds augmentation.
number on power
For stable power
augmentation. output,
For stableitpower
wouldoutput,
be preferable
it would to incorporate
be preferable a wind lens with an
to incorporate open wind
a wind turbine
lens with an
for which
open windthe effectfor
turbine of which
the Reynolds
the effectnumber
of the is small. number is small.
Reynolds
Energies 2016, 9, 406 12 of 14
Energies 2016, 9, 406 12 of 14

(a) (b)
Figure 17. Comparison of power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with various Reynolds numbers with
Figure 17. Comparison of power coefficient Cp of wind turbines with various Reynolds numbers with
and without
and without aa wind
wind lens
lens vs.
vs. tip
tip speed
speed ratio
ratio λλ (wind
(wind lens:
lens:curved-surface-type
curved-surface-type diffuser).
diffuser). (a)
(a) NACA0018,
NACA0018,
symmetric; (b) NACA0018, arc-shaped.
symmetric; (b) NACA0018, arc-shaped.

7. Conclusions
7. Conclusions
We incorporated
We incorporated aa wind wind lens
lens in in aa VAWT
VAWT and and examined
examined its its effect
effect onon power
power augmentation
augmentation using using
wind tunnel
wind tunnel experiments.
experiments. Various Various styles
styles of of wind
wind lens have been
lens have been applied
applied to to horizontal-axis
horizontal-axis wind wind
turbines and similar technology should be
turbines and similar technology should be effective for VAWTs. effective for VAWTs.
First, we
First, we investigated
investigated the the optimum
optimum parameters
parameters of of the
the wind
wind lenslens configuration.
configuration. The wind lens
The wind lens
with a flat-panel-type diffuser demonstrated power augmentation
with a flat-panel-type diffuser demonstrated power augmentation by a factor of 2.0 compared with by a factor of 2.0 compared with
an open
an open windwind turbine.
turbine. The
The larger
larger thethe semi-open
semi-open angleangle of of the
the diffuser became, the
diffuser became, greater the
the greater the power
power
augmentation observed.
augmentation observed. The The increase
increase from from 5° 5˝ to
to 20°
20˝ in in the
the semi-open
semi-open angle angle of of the diffuser made
the diffuser made it it
possible to generate a 30% high power output over a wider range
possible to generate a 30% high power output over a wider range of tip speed ratios. Furthermore, of tip speed ratios. Furthermore,
the larger
the larger thethe flange width became,
flange width became, the the greater the observed
greater the observed power power augmentation.
augmentation. For For aa constant
constant area
area
of projection in the streamwise direction, the wind lens with a larger
of projection in the streamwise direction, the wind lens with a larger semi-open angle of the diffuser semi-open angle of the diffuser
could generate
could generate higher
higher power
power output
output over over aa wider
wider rangerange of of tip
tip speed
speed ratios;
ratios; however,
however, an an optimum
optimum
semi-open angle
semi-open angle of of the
the diffuser
diffuser was was established.
established. For For the flat-panel-type diffuser,
the flat-panel-type diffuser, aa recommended
recommended
diffuser length is 0.5D, and its semi-open angle is˝20°. The inlet
diffuser length is 0.5D, and its semi-open angle is 20 . The inlet enhanced the power augmentationenhanced the power augmentationover
over a wider range of tip speed ratios, and the best location
a wider range of tip speed ratios, and the best location for the wind lens in the streamwise for the wind lens in the streamwise
direction
direction
was aligned waswithaligned with the
the center of thecenter
VAWT. of the
TheVAWT. The curved-surface-type
curved-surface-type diffuser wasdiffuser was more
more effective for
effective for power augmentation than flat-panel-type diffusers. The
power augmentation than flat-panel-type diffusers. The wind lens with a curved-surface-type diffuser wind lens with a curved-surface-
type diffuser demonstrated
demonstrated power augmentation power augmentation
by a factor of about by a factor of aboutwith
2.1 compared 2.1 the
compared
open wind withturbine.
the open
windThe turbine.
power outputs of an open wind turbine and a wind turbine with a wind lens were compared
The
when changingpower the outputs of an openofwind
configuration turbine such
the turbine, and aas wind turbineofwith
a number blades,a wind lens
airfoil were and
shape, compared
chord
when changing
length. Irrespective the configuration of the turbine, the
of the turbine configuration, such as a numberof
incorporation ofablades,
wind lens airfoil shape, and chord
demonstrated equal
length. Irrespective of the turbine configuration, the incorporation
power augmentation. Therefore, power augmentation by the incorporation of a wind lens should be of a wind lens demonstrated equal
power augmentation.
possible, Therefore,
even as the efficiency of power
the open augmentation
wind turbinebyisthe incorporation of a wind lens should be
improved.
possible,
The eveneffectasofthetheefficiency
Reynolds ofnumber
the openon wind
theturbine
power is improved.
output of a VAWT with a wind lens was
investigated by changing the approaching wind speed. It would be apreferable
The effect of the Reynolds number on the power output of VAWT with a wind lens
to incorporate was
a wind
investigated by changing the approaching wind speed. It would be
lens with an open wind turbine for which the effect of the Reynolds number is small, because the wind preferable to incorporate a wind
lens enhances
lens with an open windon
the effect turbine
powerfor which the effect of the Reynolds number is small, because the
augmentation.
windThislensstudy
enhancesshowed that a wind lensaugmentation.
the effect on power with a Venturi shape, curved diffuser, and shorter flanges
This study
(h = 0.25D m) was showed that a wind
most effective lens withaagreater
in producing Venturi shape,
power curved diffuser,
augmentation. The andwindshorter flanges
lens functions
(h = 0.25D m) was most effective in producing a greater power
optimally when aligned with the center of the VAWT. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that a augmentation. The wind lens functions
optimally when
two-bladed windaligned
turbinewith withthe center of the VAWT.
NACA0024-type airfoils Furthermore,
was most suitable it was for demonstrated that a two-
the incorporation of a
bladed wind turbine with NACA0024-type
wind lens to generate higher power output. airfoils was most suitable for the incorporation of a wind
lens to
Wegenerate higher power
are undertaking output.studies that address the influence of the diffuser on power
additional
We are undertaking
augmentation. We are analyzing the flowadditional studies that the
around addressVAWT thebyinfluence
using flow of visualization
the diffuser on andpower
CFD,
augmentation. We are analyzing the flow around the VAWT by
however, it is clear that the whole flow passing VAWT is concentrated and accelerated by flanged using flow visualization and CFD,
however, it is clear that the whole flow passing VAWT is concentrated and accelerated by flanged
diffuser similarly to HAWT [2]. That is, VAWT possibly demonstrate power augmentation by a factor
Energies 2016, 9, 406 13 of 14

diffuser similarly to HAWT [2]. That is, VAWT possibly demonstrate power augmentation by a factor
of 2–3 because the flange of wind lens generates a low-pressure region in the exit neighborhood of the
diffuser by vortex formation and draws more mass flow to the wind turbine inside the diffuser shroud.

Author Contributions: Koichi Watanabe and Shuhei Takahashi performed the experiments with supervision by
Yuji Ohya. Koichi Watanabe analyzed the data. The manuscript was written by Koichi Watanabe and reviewed by
Yuji Ohya.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Abbreviations
The following abbreviations are used in this manuscript:

VAWT vertical-axis wind turbine


NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
WT wind turbine

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