A historical review of vertical axis wind turbines rated 100 kW and above

Erik Mollerstrom, Paul Gipe, Jos Beurskens, Fredric Ottermo, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, January 2019

This paper summarizes and introduces all vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) projects where 100 kW or larger turbines have been installed. The basis for the review is both existing literature and personal correspondence with people once involved in the different developments. By citing the most relevant work for each project, the paper will also work as an information hub, making information on these projects more accessible. Since the 1970s, there have been several VAWT projects with installed turbines of significant size, either as attempts to commercialize VAWTs, or as university led research projects, or as a combination of the two. Most have involved Darrieus turbines built in North America during the 1980s. However, H-rotors, which have always been a favored concept in Europe, have seen a revival during the 2010s. The reason VAWTs have never fully challenged the success of the horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) is too broad a question to answer here. However, the reasons some VAWT projects have failed are addressed in this paper. Besides the fact that many of the prototypes had terminal failures, most of the installed medium or largescale VAWTs have to some extent had problems with metal fatigue and durability. Additionally, a lack of longterm interest from governmental or private funders, as well as the introduction of reliable HAWTs, was a recurring theme from those involved in VAWT development, regarding the reason VAWTs so far have failed to succeed.

Application of the Darrieus Vertical Axis Wind Turbine to Synchronous Electrical Power Generation

J. F. Banas, E. G. Kadlec, W. N. Sullivan, Sandia National Laboratories, March 1975

This report suggests that the Darrieus vertical-axis wind turbine may be particularly well-suited for driving a synchronous generator in parallel with a synchronizing electrical power network. Aerodynamic characteristics of the Darrieus wind turbine can be such that no torque regulation mechanisms are required on the turbine, providing the generator is properly sized. Synchronization to maintain constant turbine rotational speed under any wind conditions is provided by the network. To point out operational differences, a discussion is included of synchronous power generation usin...

A Retrospective of VAWT Technology

Jerbert J. Sutherland, Dale E. Berg, and Thomas D. Ashwill, Sandia National Laboratories, January 2012

The study of VAWT technology at Sandia National Laboratories started in the 1970’s and concluded in the 1990’s. These studies concentrated on the Darrieus configurations because of their high inherent efficiency, but other configurations (e.g., the Savonius turbine) were also examined. The Sandia VAWT program culminated with the design of the 34-m ‘Test Bed’ Darrieus VAWT. This turbine was designed and built to test various VAWT design concepts and to provide the necessary databases to validate analytical design codes and algorithms. Using the...

High Energy Rotor Development,Test and Evaluation – Final Project Report

FloWind Corporation for Sandia National Labs, Sept. 1996

Under the auspices of the “Government/Industry Wind Technology Applications Project” [“Letter of Interest” (LOI) Number RC-1-11101], FloWind Corp. has successfully developed, tested, and delivered a high-energy rotor upgrade candidate for their 19-meter Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. The project included the demonstration of the innovative extended height-to-diameter ratio concept, the development of a continuous-span singlepiece composite blade, the demonstration of a continuous blade manufacturing technique, the utilization of the Sandia National Laboratori...

Historical Development of the Windmill

Dennis G. Shepherd, NASA, 1990

The wind turbine has had a singular history among prime movers.

The Sandia Legacy VAWT Research Program
Dale E. Berg, September 2016, Sandia National Laboratories

This slide deck was present to Delft Technical University by Dale Berg who was a principal researcher of the Darrieus type VAWTs that Sandia National Laboratories worked on from the 1970s through the 1990s.  It covers the history of Sandia's work on VAWTs  including their efforts to develop validated aeroelastic modeling.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines Current Technologies and Future Trends

J. Damota, I. Lamas, A. Couce, J. Rodriguez, April 2015

This paper, based on the pursuit of scientific articles published and recorded in the last five years (2010-2014) patents on VAWT technology, gives an image of the current situation of the treated technology. From data extracted we know: The different models that are working with different geometries, distinguishing between Savonius, Darrieus, hybrid of both (D+S), models dedicated to Offshore technology and what can be applied generally (D&S) on both types of VAWT (controllers, electric generators, materials ...).The main countries that research and develop VAWT technology, globally and...

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines - History Technology and Applications

Marco D' Ambrosio, Marco Medaglia, Hogskolan, Halmstad, May 2010

In these Master Thesis a review of different type of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) and an preliminary investigation of a new kind of VAWT are presented. After an introduction about the historical background of wind power, the report deals with a more accurate analysis of the main type of VAWT, showing their characteristics and their operations. The aerodynamics of the wind turbines and a review of different type on generators that can be used to connect the wind mill to the electricity grid are reported as well. Several statistics are also presented, in order to explain how the importance of the wind energy has grown up during the last decades and also to show that...

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines Revisited A Sandia Perspective

Matt Barone and Josh Paquette, Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Department of Energy, 01 June 2012

This document is a slide show that  summarizes Sandia National Laboratories' work on the Darrieus-type VAWTs from the 1970s through to the commercialization of this VAWT technology with the FloWind VAWTs in the 1980s and 1990s.  It is a slideshow presentation of the work in A Retrospective of VAWT Technology by Sutherland, Berg and Ashwill

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