Low Speed Wind Turbines for Power Generation: A Review
Keywords:small wind turbines, low wind regime, blade geometry, flow augmentation, operational performance
Wind turbines are simple and eco-friendly means of generating electricity. This review paper introduces the challenges in harvesting maximum energy at low wind velocities (typically around 3 m/s, the cut-in wind speed for most of the turbines). The recent research works carried out with regards to design and operation of the wind turbines at low wind velocities are summarized. With respect to design, optimizing blade geometry, improving the starting characteristics, addition of flow augmentation devices and electrical efficiency improvement are explained. Regarding the operation of low wind velocity turbines, some novel means of improving the operational performance and some unconventional modes of operation have been discussed thoroughly. The current study on low speed wind turbines has ascertained that there is a great potential for energy harvesting at low wind velocities with significant possible improvement in energy conversion efficiency. Finally, few potential areas of research in the area of low speed wind turbines have been pointed out.