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Improving Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) Performance

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Best Papers

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Patrick A. Tebbe Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Patrick Tebbe is a professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Tebbe received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering as well as the M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He is currently a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and a student branch advisor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),

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Nazli Aslican Yilmaz Wodzinski Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Nazli A. Yilmaz Wodzinski graduated from Clemson University with a Ph.D in Civil Engineering in 2014. She joined Minnesota State University, Mankato as a post-doctoral teaching fellow for 2015-16 Acedemic Year. She is still serving at the same institution as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Yilmaz Wodzinski offers a broad range of courses to engineering program students and conducts research on renewable energy, water treatment and water resources.

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Namyong Lee Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Namyong Lee has specialty in industrial and applied mathematics. He is the current president of North Central Section of Mathematical Association of America and the research director of the Minnesota Modeling & Simulation Center. Dr. Lee has served many journal editorial boards, including the associate editorship in Frontiers in Systems Biology.

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In January 2017 an Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund (RDF) grant was received for this project through a block grant from the Minnesota State system. The project aims to improve the understanding of how placement affects the performance of small wind turbines. Specifically, placement of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are being analyzed in relation to surrounding structures and each other. Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) offer advantages for small-scale electricity production particularly in regions not ideally suited to the more common horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). However, current performance claims tend to be exaggerated and VAWT placement is largely decided based on the public relations impact. This limits the understanding of actual VAWT performance. An emphasis of this project is placed on producing data and analysis tools that can be easily applied by consumers and small businesses for proper placement.

This paper will review the different technical aspects of the project including lab based experiments, field experiments, and numerical studies. Current progress and results will be detailed. Additional focus will be placed on the interdisciplinary aspects and how undergraduate and graduate students have been integrated to accomplish the project goals. The students on the project each bring unique backgrounds and experiences. The research experience gained has allowed them to expand on the topics being covered in class and apply their unique talents.

Tebbe, P. A., & Yilmaz Wodzinski, N. A., & Lee, N. (2018, June), Improving Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) Performance Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30638

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