Investigation on Darrieus type straight blade vertical axis wind turbine with flexible blade

Wendi Liu, Qing Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, a three-dimensional VAWT with a spanwise passively deformable flexible blade has been modelled. The study mainly focuses on the analysis of blade structure characteristics associated with the bending and twist deflection. Two types of flexible blade material and two strut locations supporting H-type blades are being investigated. The unsteady external loads and energy efficiency of VAWT with such designed flexible blade are also being analysed. The simulation results show that the bending and twist deflection peak is positively correlated with the turbine tip speed ratio λ. For a flexible blade, an unevenly distributed structural stress along the blade with a high stress regime in the vicinity of strut location has also been observed. Due to the rotational motion of a VAWT, the centrifugal force acting on VAWT blade plays an important role on the blade structure characteristics. Reduction of the blade stiffness results in an increase of the blade stress. Changing the strut location from middle to tip will cause a large area under high stress. The results also indicate that the VAWT with a highly flexible blade is not an efficient energy extraction device when it is compared to a less flexible or a rigid blade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-356
Number of pages17
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue numberA
Early online date10 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • vertical axis turbine
  • fluid structure interaction
  • flexible material


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