Performance study of Whale-Inspired Wind Turbine Blade at Low Wind Speed Using Numerical Method
Keywords:leading edge bumps, Reynolds number, coefficient of performance, wind speed, wind turbine blade
A country like Nigeria has a vast resource of untapped renewable energy potential. It has wind speed ranging up to 13.8 m/s in Jos (the best among the most promising wind potential locations). Unfortunately, these wind speeds are considered quite low when compared to an international market which designs for turbine rated speed far higher than Nigeria’s average wind speeds, and the significant variance of the average wind speeds decreases their useful potential. The efficiency of the horizontal axis wind turbine decreases when it is not operating under design conditions, which indicate the need for the technology specific to the low wind speed conditions of Nigeria. Modification of wind turbine blade leading edge is one of the best ways known for boosting the operating angle of the blade for better performance at low wind speed. This research work involved Three-dimensional flow simulation of three-bladed wind turbine rotor at low wind speed by modifying the blades’ leading edges (introducing sinusoidal bumps) using the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model and pseudo transient for solution stability. The coefficients of performance investigated for the rotating wind turbine blades with leading-edge bumps and those with the smooth leading edge. The results show that the bumpy blade can perform better than the smooth one in the low wind speed condition even at a lower angle of attack (60); the bumps act as passive flow control devices.