Extracting and analyzing performance curves of a small wind turbine system is often a comprehensive task. There are different ways of plotting power and performance curves for small wind turbine system for Eg. Wind tunnel testing / Field testing. VTM is an evolutionary approach practiced by KAPEG to test the small wind turbine performance before taking it to site. The technique emerged as there was no immediate way to test the prototype turbine.
KAPEG started working with hand carved small wind turbine blades in the earliest phases of its establishments. Various mechanical properties of locally available timber materials was studied regressively for a long period of time. While a specific 300W turbine was designed and constructed, the only method to test the turbine performance was to mount it to a truck and take it to run. While developing the small wind turbine system, the vehicle testing method itself gradually developed. The extensively long hours of tying the tower with climbing ropes behind the truck was cut short with big brackets and anchors. The manual measurements was changed with high frequency data logging set-ups which gave the team to brainstorm and interpret the signals seen in the oscilloscopes.
VTM is a great way of testing and understanding newly designed and constructed small wind turbines prototypes at very low cost in a very short period of time. It can be made much like Wind Tunnel Testing where the wind speed is a controlled variable. In this case, the difference is that the turbine is made to accelerate into the wind unlike wind tunnel where the wind is blowing across the turbine in a contained environment. The exact precision of the testing procedure is yet to be tested in comparison with the standard wind tunnel testings. The testing does work with high level of satisfaction as one is able to determine whether the turbine is stalling or over speeding during the test. Later with the recorded measured, the analysis can be forecasted with precise Cp vs TSR curve justifying the turbine behavior during the test.
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VEHICLE TEST VIDEO