Structural analysis of large-scale vertical-axis wind turbines, Part I: Wind load simulation

Jinghua Lin, You Lin Xu, Yong Xia, Chao Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


When compared with horizontal-axis wind turbines, vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) have the primary advantages of insensitivity to wind direction and turbulent wind, simple structural configuration, less fatigue loading, and easy maintenance. In recent years, large-scale VAWTs have attracted considerable attention. Wind loads on a VAWT must be determined prior to structural analyses. However, traditional blade element momentum theory cannot consider the effects of turbulence and other structural components. Moreover, a large VAWT cannot simply be regarded as a planar structure, and 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is computationally prohibitive. In this regard, a practical wind load simulation method for VAWTs based on the strip analysis method and 2D shear stress transport (SST) k-ω model is proposed. A comparison shows that the wind pressure and aerodynamic forces simulated by the 2D SST k-ω model match well with those obtained by 2.5D large eddy simulation (LES). The influences of mean wind speed profile, turbulence, and interaction of all structural components are considered. A large straight-bladed VAWT is taken as a case study. Wind loads obtained in this study will be applied to the fatigue and ultimate strength analyses of the VAWT in the companion paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2573
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • CFD simulation
  • Strip analysis
  • Turbulent wind
  • Vertical-axis wind turbines
  • Wind load simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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