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Title: Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) with Thermoplastic Composite Blades

Abstract

Rising concerns about global climate change, planet pollution and increasing use of energy have accelerated wider utilization of renewable energy sources. A recent trend in energy system development is decentralization of power generation systems. The opportunity for individuals or organizations to generate electricity locally decreases losses and part of the electricity price caused by the long-distance power transmission. Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) cannot compete with traditional horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) on the basis of aerodynamic performance or maximum power output generated for a given footprint. However, their ability to perform at a wide range of wind speeds, indifference to wind direction, simplicity of fabrication, transportability and maintainability make them ideal candidates for decentralized installations in urban and residential areas. The project team including Steelhead Composites (SHC), Colorado State University (CSU), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Arkema Inc. designed and fabricated a VAWT rotor assembly with thermoplastic composite blades using novel infusion and fabrication techniques. This full-scale VAWT rotor assembly was designed for a rated power output of 0.5-1 kW, as estimated through analytical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. Those CFD simulations were combined with structural finite element analysis (FEA) to optimize the shape and composite layup ofmore » the wind blades. Much of the emphasis of this program was to characterize the recyclable thermoplastic material and composite structural design, in order to take full advantage of the material properties of such composites. Additionally, this project examined the potential of thermoplastic resin systems to transform the way VAWT rotor assemblies are joined both in the factory in in the field, by utilizing thermally welded joints to minimize field failure. The infused composite blades manufactured during this program are an excellent example of these benefits made possible by the Arkema thermoplastic resin system. This prototype blade manufacturing also provided the groundwork to inform decisions for larger scale manufacturing techniques applicable to a commercialization strategy. There is specific commercial interest for small scale VAWT’s that are competitively priced, perform to expectations, and have environmentally conscious end-of-life characteristics. Economic analysis was also conducted to compare designs and material usage, providing an estimated levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for the VAWT. The next steps for commercialization would include testing of the rotor assembly to verify predicted performance, specification of the balance of plant components (generator, inverter, etc.), and identification of a manufacturing partner with capability to scale-up production. This program has showed the potential for a commercially viable product through detailed analysis, material characterization and prototype fabrication.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1];  [4]
  1. Steelhead Composites, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  3. Arkema Inc. King of Prussia, PA (United States)
  4. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)-The Composites Institute, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Efficiency Office. Advanced Manufacturing Office
OSTI Identifier:
1650138
Report Number(s):
IACMI/R0001-2019/4.5
IACMI/R0001-2019/4.5
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006926
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 42 ENGINEERING; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; wind; VAWT; verticle axis wind turbines; thermoplastic; composites; LCOE

Citation Formats

Mallick, Kaushik, Radford, Don, Bachman, Nate, Snowberg, David, Stewart, Michael, and Carron, W. Scott. Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) with Thermoplastic Composite Blades. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1650138.
Mallick, Kaushik, Radford, Don, Bachman, Nate, Snowberg, David, Stewart, Michael, & Carron, W. Scott. Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) with Thermoplastic Composite Blades. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1650138
Mallick, Kaushik, Radford, Don, Bachman, Nate, Snowberg, David, Stewart, Michael, and Carron, W. Scott. 2019. "Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) with Thermoplastic Composite Blades". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1650138. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1650138.
@article{osti_1650138,
title = {Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) with Thermoplastic Composite Blades},
author = {Mallick, Kaushik and Radford, Don and Bachman, Nate and Snowberg, David and Stewart, Michael and Carron, W. Scott},
abstractNote = {Rising concerns about global climate change, planet pollution and increasing use of energy have accelerated wider utilization of renewable energy sources. A recent trend in energy system development is decentralization of power generation systems. The opportunity for individuals or organizations to generate electricity locally decreases losses and part of the electricity price caused by the long-distance power transmission. Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) cannot compete with traditional horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) on the basis of aerodynamic performance or maximum power output generated for a given footprint. However, their ability to perform at a wide range of wind speeds, indifference to wind direction, simplicity of fabrication, transportability and maintainability make them ideal candidates for decentralized installations in urban and residential areas. The project team including Steelhead Composites (SHC), Colorado State University (CSU), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Arkema Inc. designed and fabricated a VAWT rotor assembly with thermoplastic composite blades using novel infusion and fabrication techniques. This full-scale VAWT rotor assembly was designed for a rated power output of 0.5-1 kW, as estimated through analytical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. Those CFD simulations were combined with structural finite element analysis (FEA) to optimize the shape and composite layup of the wind blades. Much of the emphasis of this program was to characterize the recyclable thermoplastic material and composite structural design, in order to take full advantage of the material properties of such composites. Additionally, this project examined the potential of thermoplastic resin systems to transform the way VAWT rotor assemblies are joined both in the factory in in the field, by utilizing thermally welded joints to minimize field failure. The infused composite blades manufactured during this program are an excellent example of these benefits made possible by the Arkema thermoplastic resin system. This prototype blade manufacturing also provided the groundwork to inform decisions for larger scale manufacturing techniques applicable to a commercialization strategy. There is specific commercial interest for small scale VAWT’s that are competitively priced, perform to expectations, and have environmentally conscious end-of-life characteristics. Economic analysis was also conducted to compare designs and material usage, providing an estimated levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for the VAWT. The next steps for commercialization would include testing of the rotor assembly to verify predicted performance, specification of the balance of plant components (generator, inverter, etc.), and identification of a manufacturing partner with capability to scale-up production. This program has showed the potential for a commercially viable product through detailed analysis, material characterization and prototype fabrication.},
doi = {10.2172/1650138},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1650138}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}