Increasing the Power Production of Vertical-Axis Wind-Turbine Farms Using Synergistic Clustering

Seyed Hossein Hezaveh, Elie R. Bou-Zeid, John Dabiri, Matthias Kinzel, Gerard Cortina, Luigi Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are being reconsidered as a complementary technology to the more widely used horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) due to their unique suitability for offshore deployments. In addition, field experiments have confirmed that vertical-axis wind turbines can interact synergistically to enhance the total power production when placed in close proximity. Here, we use an actuator line model in a large-eddy simulation to test novel VAWT farm configurations that exploit these synergistic interactions. We first design clusters with three turbines each that preserve the omni-directionality of vertical-axis wind turbines, and optimize the distance between the clustered turbines. We then configure farms based on clusters, rather than individual turbines. The simulations confirm that vertical-axis wind turbines have a positive influence on each other when packed in well-designed clusters: such configurations increase the power generation of a single turbine by about 10 percent. In addition, the cluster designs allow for closer turbine spacing resulting in about three times the number of turbines for a given land area compared to conventional configurations. Therefore, both the turbine and wind-farm efficiencies are improved, leading to a significant increase in the density of power production per unit land area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-296
Number of pages22
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Vertical-axis wind turbines
  • Wind energy
  • Wind farms
  • Wind-farm layout


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