The UK’s wind capacity is expected to almost double by 2030. So far, all large scale wind farms (>40 turbines) are utilising horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs), and these are continuously becoming more efficient and larger in size in order to maximise the energy extracted from the given site. Yet, turbulent wakes created by the first row decrease the power output of the turbines behind/downstream by up to 40%.
On the other hand Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) could solve this problem. Our research showed that this type of turbine exhibits the opposite behaviour than HAWTs when composed in wind farms, and apparently enhances each other’s performance. In other words, VAWTs extract more energy in wind farms than when operating in isolation. The results showed that the vertical turbine design is far more efficient than traditional turbines in large scale wind farms, and when set in pairs (and up to 3-turbine motors in series) the vertical turbines increase each other’s performance by up to 15%.