Design of a Low Wind Velocity Wind Turbine For Powering Communications After A Natural Disaster

Robert Schneider


During periods of mass displacement of persons it is often dicult to maintain communi-
cations between neighbouring communities and family members. A portable and self su-
cient method of producing electrical power could solve this problem. A method of analysing
the power output of a straight bladed vertical axis wind turbine was programmed. This
was used to analyse the eect of the turbine radius, blade chord length and blade incidence
angle on the power output. It was discovered that the published method for accounting for
the velocity loss across the turbine was incorrect for a range of turbine dimensions. A wind
tunnel test rig and data logger was also developed to experimentally test the output of a
model wind turbine in a low turbulence wind tunnel. The `spin down' method was used
to calculate the turbine power coecient, resulting in the full scale turbine (designed with
awed analysis code) outputting suffcient power to charge one smart phone at a time.
A full scale version of this turbine in 4m=s wind velocity would produce 3:38 0:52Watts.
Developing an accurate method for accounting for the velocity loss across the turbine would
enable the process followed in this project to be eective as a vertical axis wind turbine
design tool.

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