Main content area

Numerical study of energy recovery from the wakes of moving vehicles on highways by using a vertical axis wind turbine

Tian, Wenlong, Mao, Zhaoyong, An, Xinyu, Zhang, Baoshou, Wen, Haibing
Energy 2017 v.141 pp. 715-728
energy, energy recovery, equations, fluid mechanics, highways, vehicles (equipment), wind power, wind turbines
The wind energy restored in the wakes of high-speed moving vehicles on highways has considerable potential but has yet to be used. In this study, a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) is used to recover energy from the wake of vehicles on highways. The VAWT is designed to be placed on the medians of the highway and produce power from the wakes of vehicles on both sides. To evaluate the performance of the VAWT and to determine the mechanism of interactions between the moving vehicle and the turbine, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulations based on the Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes equations are performed. Five typical situations, including one car on the passing lane, one bus on the passing lane, two opposite moving cars on the passing lane, one car on the fast main lane, and one bus on the fast main lane, are considered and studied. Results show that the VAWT could generate power from the wakes of vehicles on the passing lane. The maximum average power coefficient is 0.00464, which corresponds to an average power of 139.60 W.