Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published September 2010 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Fish schooling as a basis for vertical axis wind turbine farm design


Most wind farms consist of horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) due to the high power coefficient (mechanical power output divided by the power of the free-stream air through the turbine cross-sectional area) of an isolated turbine. However when in close proximity to neighboring turbines, HAWTs suffer from a reduced power coefficient. In contrast, previous research on vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) suggests that closely spaced VAWTs may experience only small decreases (or even increases) in an individual turbine's power coefficient when placed in close proximity to neighbors, thus yielding much higher power outputs for a given area of land. A potential flow model of inter-VAWT interactions is developed to investigate the effect of changes in VAWT spatial arrangement on the array performance coefficient, which compares the expected average power coefficient of turbines in an array to a spatially isolated turbine. A geometric arrangement based on the configuration of shed vortices in the wake of schooling fish is shown to significantly increase the array performance coefficient based upon an array of 16 × 16 wind turbines. The results suggest increases in power output of over one order of magnitude for a given area of land as compared to HAWTs.

Additional Information

© 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 11 February 2010, in final form 13 May 2010. Published 20 August 2010. We thank J Meier and P Abad-Manterola for assisting with the field work. We also thank California Energy & Power for allowing us the use of their wind turbine. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation: Energy for Sustainability Program. The technology described in this paper is protected under both US and International pending patents filed by the California Institute of Technology.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1002.2250.pdf


Files (241.6 kB)
Name Size Download all
241.6 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023