Historical review of vertical axis wind turbines rated 100 kW and above

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    Authors & editors

    Möllerström, Erik [Author]
    Gipe, Paul [Author]
    Beurskens, Jos [Author]
    Ottermo, Fredric [Author]

    Publisher Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
    Year of publication 2019 Vol 105 (May) Pages 1-13

    Medium Digital

    Generation of Electricity > Windpower


    Scope & contentAbstract
    This paper summarizes and introduces all vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) projects where 100 kW or larger turbines have been installed. The basis for the review is both existing literature and personal correspondence with people once involved in the different developments. By citing the most relevant work for each project, the paper will also work as an information hub, making information on these projects more accessible.

    Since the 1970s, there have been several VAWT projects with installed turbines of significant size, either as attempts to commercialize VAWTs, or as university led research projects, or as a combination of the two. Most have involved Darrieus turbines built in North America during the 1980s. However, H-rotors, which have always been a favored concept in Europe, have seen a revival during the 2010s.

    The reason VAWTs have never fully challenged the success of the horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) is too broad a question to answer here. However, the reasons some VAWT projects have failed are addressed in this paper. Besides the fact that many of the prototypes had terminal failures, most of the installed medium or large-scale VAWTs have to some extent had problems with metal fatigue and durability. Additionally, a lack of long-term interest from governmental or private funders, as well as the introduction of reliable HAWTs, was a recurring theme from those involved in VAWT development, regarding the reason VAWTs so far have failed to succeed.

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