Electromechanics of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

  • Date:
  • Location: Å80121, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Rossander, Morgan
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Elektricitetslära
  • Contact person: Rossander, Morgan
  • Disputation

This thesis focuses on electromechanical interaction in the straight bladed Darrieus rotor (H-rotor) concept for wind power studied at Uppsala University.

Wind power is an established mean of clean energy production and the modern horizontal axis wind turbine has become a common sight. The need for maintenance is high and future wind turbines may need to be improved to enable more remote and offshore locations. Vertical axis wind turbines have possible benefits, such as higher reliability, less noise and lower centre of gravity. This thesis focuses on electromechanical interaction in the straight bladed Darrieus rotor (H-rotor) concept studied at Uppsala University.

One of the challenges with vertical axis technology is the oscillating aerodynamic forces. A force measurement setup has been implemented to capture the forces on a three-bladed 12 kW open site prototype. The normal force showed good agreement with simulations. An aerodynamic torque could be estimated from the system. The total electrical torque in the generator was determined from electrical measurements. Both torque estimations lacked the expected aerodynamic ripple at three times per revolution. The even torque detected is an important result and more studies are required to confirm and understand it.

The force measurement was also used to study the loads on the turbine in parked conditions. It was discovered that there is a strong dependence on wind direction and that there is a positive torque on the turbine at stand still. The results can assist to determine the best parking strategies for an H-rotor turbine.

The studied concept also features diode rectification of the voltage from the permanent magnet synchronous generator. Diodes are considered a cheap and robust solution for rectification at the drawback of inducing ripple in the torque and output voltage. The propagation of the torque ripple was measured on the prototype and studied with simulations and analytical expressions. One key conclusion was that the mechanical driveline of the turbine is an effective filter of the diode induced torque ripple.

A critical speed controller was implemented on the prototype. The controller was based on optimal torque control and according to the experiments and the simulations it was able to avoid a rotational speed span. Finally, the optimal torque control was evaluated for multiple turbines with diode rectification to a common DC-link. The setup can potentially reduce the overall complexity of wind farms. The simulations suggest that stability of the system can be obtained by controlling the DC-link load as a semi constant voltage.

The thesis is based on nine papers of which six are treated in the thesis summary.