Simulation, Optimisation, Fabrication and Testing
AbstractWe envision to set up a new concept that leads to the fully automated conception of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT). We demonstrate that one can achieve Simulation, Optimum design, Fabrication and Testing (SOFT) of a mini-windmill, in a completely integrated hardware/software environment fitting in a 100 square foot facility.
First, we perform a few simulations of initial shapes of the windmill to explore the fluid-structure interaction problem. Then, a parallelized genetic algorithm orchestrates many different blades simulations to find the best design. The supposedly best shape obtained is afterwards built using a 3D printer. It is then tested in a wind tunnel and the results of the experiment are compared to those of the simulation. This procedure is repeated many times: the loop is closed using an intelligent computational component that uses the comparison results to decide whether to increase the level of precision of the simulation or to increase the level of complexity of the blade for more efficiency.