Research Learning Experience while Designing Wind Turbine for Low Speed Wind Applications
Low speed wind turbines have provided challenges in extracting the most amount of power in various slow wind regions. In this research project, several factors are explored to help analyze and distinguish the most efficient wind turbine blade design. The design is tested by implementing two methods, comparing computational fluid analysis and 3-D printed physical testing with the Windlab laboratory apparatus. The data and analysis helps determine how to maximize the power extraction from wind energy.
Wind turbine energy methods and the usage of electrical power have been in practice for more than a century. Wind energy has been investigated heavily due to the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and high price of fuel consumption. Scientist and engineers have developed numerous designs and modifications of many wind turbines. Most of these designs are concentrated in the high speed wind locations, concentrated in west mid-west of the United States. On the other hand, low speed wind occurrences – specifically in the eastern U.S. provides these regions an opportunity to utilize the renewable energy for high demand energy consuming areas. Application of wind resources and it’s feasibility in Georgia are explored.
In low speed wind occurrences, wind travels at up to or above 9.1 mph, or 4.07 m/s . Low wind speeds are available and can be harnessed to provide maximum extracted power from the Atlanta metropolitan cities, county outskirts, to the coast of Savannah Georgia. With careful consideration of the physical design of the wind turbine blade, improvements and modification in extracted power from low speed winds is possible. In this research, low speed wind turbines are studied, designed, fabricated, and experimentally tested for low speed environmental occurrences. The maximum extracted power for the wind turbine blade design will be analyzed and studied for future experimentation.
Undergraduate research assistants perform most of the research. Their experiences of conducting research; learning the research methodology and its impact on the overall education is highlighted.
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