The methodology for aerodynamic study on a small domestic wind turbine with scoop

F. Wang, l. Bai, J.E. Fletcher, J. Whiteford, D. Cullen

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79 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to investigate the possibility of improving wind energy capture, under low wind speed conditions, in a built-up area, and the design of a small wind generator for domestic use in such areas. This paper reports the first part of this study: the development of the methodology using physical tests conducted in a boundary layer wind tunnel and computer modelling using commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The activities reported in this paper are optimisation of a scoop design and validation of the CFD model. The final design of scoop boosts the airflow speed by a factor of 1.5 times equivalent to an increase in power output of 2.2 times with the same swept area. Wind tunnel tests show that the scoop increases the output power of the wind turbine. The results also indicate that, by using a scoop, energy capture can be improved at lower wind speeds. The experimentally determined power curves of the wind generator located in the scoop are in good agreement with those predicted by the CFD model. This suggests that first the developed computer model was robust and could be used later for design purposes. Second the methodology developed here could be validated in a future study for a new rotor blade system to function well within the scoop. The power generation of such a new wind turbine is expected to be increased, particularly at locations where average wind speed is lower and more turbulent. The further study will be reported elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • scoop
  • diffuser
  • wind tunnel test
  • small domestic wind turbine
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)


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