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Engineering College students from Mysore design and prototype a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT)

According to reports,armed with creativity and determination to be different, these students have come up with an innovative device which can produce high power using less energy.

The vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), designed and fabricated by four final year students of Vidya Vardhaka College of Engineering, is omni-directional which means it does not need to be pointed in the direction of the wind to produce power.

M J Karthik, H S Satish Kumar, Girish N and Sharath M C of Department of Mechanical Engineering started working on this project when they entered the final semester. “We wanted to work on power generating turbine which uses less energy but produce more power. We worked at our friend’s factory in Metagalli for nearly six months,” says Girish N.

“Currently horizontal axis wind turbines dominate the wind energy market due to their large size and high power generation characteristics,” says S A Mohan Krishna, assistant professor, department of Mechanical Engineering. But VAWT is capable of producing a lot more power and has many advantages, he explained.

The mechanical power generation equipment can be located at ground level which makes for easy maintenance.

“There is a potential for large power generation with VAWT because their size can be increased and we have used DC generator to this prototype,” Girish said.

The objective of the project is to design and build a self-starting vertical axis wind turbine. The influence of rotor blade position on the performance output is computed. It is found that within a typical rotor blade passage, maximum torque is obtained at a unique rotor angle. Torque output of the turbine decreases with increase in rotor tip speed ratio and VAWT power curve characteristic varies with relative rotor blade position, Mohan Krishna said. The wind turbine comprises savanious rotor where blades are made up of acrylic. The ends of the blades are simply bolted to the M S pieces with M6 bolts, washers and locking nuts. A car alternator is used as the generator for this wind turbine. The total cost of the project is Rs 12,000.

However, there are also drawbacks to VAWT as an outside power source is required to start turbine rotation until a certain rational speed is reached, Mohan Krishna added.

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