H-Type Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) by Mesh Motion, ANSYS Fluent

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In this project, H-type vertical axis wind turbine is investigated.

This product includes Mesh file and a Training Movie.

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Problem description

In this project, steady airflow in the presence of an H-type wind turbine is investigated. Nowadays, turbines are a reliable, clean energy source, which generates electricity using the induced rotation by wind flow. However, turbine wind farms face challenging issues such as low efficiency at lower diameters for horizontal axis turbines (HAWT), disruption of natural view of valleys, and low wind conditions. These three problems can be solved using Vertical Axis Turbines (VAWT) where diameters as large as 200 m, commonly used in HAWTs, do not need, VAWTs are widely used offshore.

Disruption of natural view is overcome, and wind conditions are more predictable and reliable in offshore wind farms.  H-type turbine analyzed in present work has six blades where three blades are closer to the center of rotation. The turbine rotates in -Z direction with an angular velocity equal to 14.17 rad/s. Air velocity at inlet is equal to 5.3 m/s. Airflow in the domain is dominantly affected by turbine rotation. Maximum air velocity in the domain is equal to 45 m/s, which is captured downstream of the turbine.

H-type VAWT Geometry and mesh

Geometry of fluid domain is designed in Design modeler and computational grid is generated using Ansys meshing. Mesh type is unstructured and element number is 1546624.


H-type VAWT CFD Simulation

Solver configuration

Critical assumptions:

  • Solver type is assumed Pressure Based.
  • Time formulation is assumed transient.
  • Gravity effects is neglected.

The following table a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution.

Viscous K-epsilon model RNG
Near wall treatment Standard wall treatment
Fluid Definition method Fluent Database
Material name air
Cell zone conditions
mrf Mesh motion Rotational speed (14.17 rad/s)
Boundary conditions
Inlet Type velocity inlet
Velocity magnitude 5.3 m/s
Turbulent intensity 5%
Turbulent viscosity ratio 10
Solver configurations
Pressure-velocity coupling Scheme SIMPLE
Spatial discretization Gradient Least square cell-based
Pressure Standard
Momentum Second order Upwind
K First order Upwind
Epsilon First order Upwind
Run calculation Time step size 0.001 s
Number of time steps 100
Max iterations per time step 20

Results and discussion

Air mass flow rate at inlet is equal to 272.685 kg/s. Turbine blade tip speed ratio (TSR)  is almost equal to 6 where tip speed and free stream velocity are equal to 30 and 5.3 m/s.


According to rotation and free stream flow direction, there is a stagnation point in minus Y direction of the turbine which represents maximum pressure zone too. The combined effect of free stream flow and flow generated due to rotation is different on inner and outer blades. On internal blades, the pressure difference is less than the outer blades. This can be the result of the higher linear velocity of outer blades compared to inner blades.

There is a mesh file in this product. By the way, the Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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