This paper studies the flow field and power generation from a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) by extending the Actuator Cylinder Model to include the viscous effects. Turbulent flow effects in the actuator cylinder model are modeled by solving the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations with the Spalart-Allmaras (SA) turbulence model in ANSYS FLUENT. A study is performed to establish mesh independence of the solutions. Numerical solutions on a fine mesh are compared to existing theoretical results based on inviscid theory for a series of flow conditions and turbine sizes. Similar trends in the present turbulent flow results are found as in the inviscid results for downstream velocity and pressure profiles. The Betz limit is found not to be applicable to the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines. To consider wake interactions, the Actuator Cylinder Model is extended to two turbine cases. Differences between the present numerical results and inviscid theory are discussed.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission