Wind Turbine (BS Engineering Capstone)

One of the most important issues facing humanity today is the issue of energy use and dependence on fossil fuels. My senior mechanical design project focused on the design and development of a parallel and vertical axis wind turbine for use in harnessing wind energy. Methods of analysis included computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, finite element analysis (FEA), and simple hand calculations. Evaluations of alternative solutions using CFD simulations showed that a turbine with four actuating airfoils is superior to that of a turbine with three actuating airfoils. The CFD analyses also showed that the turbine must be an active system, as opposed to a passive system. FEA results showed that the final design adheres to a required factor of safety of 5.0. Final fabrication of the design was never achieved due to time constraints.