Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Rashidi, Majid

Subject Headings

Wind power plants -- Design and construction, Wind power, Clean energy, Energy, Fluent, Gambit, Green energy, Mach number, Numerical methods, Reynolds number, Spiral structure, Turbines, Velocity contours, Velocity magnitude, Wind, Wind amplification, Wind recovery

Abstract

This project entails a study of a wind energy recovery system that utilizes a unique three-dimensional spiral structure to amplify wind speed and direct it toward pluralities of turbines. The system is comprised of an outer spiral shell, internal support structure, turbines, and mechanisms for positioning the turbines to face the prevailing wind. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses were conducted to determine the wind speed amplification factors as a result of a simulated wind flow around the spiral structure. To ensure accuracy of the results, state of the art CFD techniques were applied using Gambit 2.2.30 and Fluent 6.2.16. Specifically, wind speed amplification factors were determined for 25ft and 30ft radius spiral shells. The velocity profiles of the wind flow around both spiral structures were obtained under a postulated 10mph wind speed. This resulted in a turbulent flow with a Reynolds number of 5,596,819. All analyses were run using "standard k-e" turbulence model with the "near wall treatment" option "standard wall function". A "y" value of 50 was held constant in all simulations. The affect of the grid size on the accuracy of the results was examined. Convergence criterion was satisfied in each case. The 25ft radius spiral structure yielded an average velocity amplification factor of 1.524 while the 30ft radius resulted in an average amplification factor of 1.539. This particular information can help the designer of the system to select an appropriate overall shell size based not only on the mechanical efficiency, but also considering the cost and economical factors

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