ECoMMFiT - Wind Energy Applications

Economic and environmental issues has allowed the grow of renewable energies in cities and homes. Wind power is an alternative energy obtained from airflow passing through specifically designed turbines. The principal studies in wind energy are oriented to the horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT), but the small scale vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) are more versatile for cities. Some advantages of the VAWT are that they are independent of wind direction, its low noise due to the relatively low velocity, the small manufacturing cost and its increased power output.

ECoMMFiT research in this field is focused in the numerical and experimental study of small VAWT. As example, Computational Fluid Dynamics has been applied to the numerical analysis of the flow around a drag type turbine using 3DYNAMICS and ANSYS Fluent. The wake generated by the turbine and the power curve has been obtained and analyzed. Additionally a new numerical method has been developed to obtain the wake generated by the turbine using a short computational time. The Multiple Actuator Bloc method [1] developed in collaboration with the Center of Computational Engineering and Integrated Design (CEID) from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) has proved to give good results.

Numerical results have been compared with experimental data. One of the research laboratories of the ECoMMFiT is equipped with the Open Jet Wind Tunnel [2]. This facility allow testing small wind turbines. The tunnel has 4 axial fans and a test section of 1.5x1.5 m2. It is equipped with a smoke visualization system and high-speed cameras for image recording. A PhD thesis was developed comparing the experimental and numerical analysis of a VAWT.


  • Ildefonso Cuesta
  • Jordi Pallarès
  • Anton Vernet
  • Robert Manuel Gilabert

Related publications

  • Tourn, S., Pallarès, J., Cuesta, I., Schmidt Paulsen, U., 2017, Characterization of a new open jet wind tunnel to optimize and test vertical axis wind turbines Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 9, 033302; Abstract
  • Sánchez, V., Pallarès, J., Vernet, A., Agafonova, O., Hamalainen, J., 2016, A Multiple Actuator Block model for vertical axis wind turbines, Renewable Energy 99:592-601 Abstract
  • Tourn S., Gilabert R., Sánchez V., Pallarès J., Vernet A., Cuesta I., Paulsen U. S.,2014, Characterization of a new open jet wind tunnel to optimize and test vertical axis wind turbines using flow visualization and measurement, Europe's Premier Wind Energy Event, EWEA2014, Barcelona, Spain, 10-13 March

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