In this work, we consider various aspects of small wind turbines’ (SWTs) design and operation. First, an extensive literature study is presented by considering SWTs specification, market statistics, the smart grid, and the prosumer concepts as well as the most important parameters affecting the efficiency of wind turbines. Then, both the literature review and series of coupled numerical simulations investigating impact of the chosen design solutions on small wind turbine operation are performed. It allowed objective evaluation of different design approaches, which in turn enabled the systematic identification of actual limitations as well as the opportunities for specific design solutions of SWTs: horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) and vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs); the rotor position in relation to the tower (upwind vs. downwind); and diffusor-augmented wind turbine (DAWT). Additionally, an economic evaluation is carried with the use of an advanced numerical Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model. It is shown that auxiliary power generation using privately owned SWTs can be an economically viable option. Finally, a set of design goals for future SWTs is formulated based on the performed numerical analyses.
Part of the book: Wind Turbines