Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

David S-K Ting

Second Advisor

Amir Fartaj


Applied sciences, Airfoils, Fixed-pitch blades, Vertical-axis wind turbine




Selection of the airfoil is crucial for better aerodynamic performance and dimensions of a smaller-capacity fixed-pitch SB-VAWT. Most of the earlier research works with SB-VAWT mainly utilized symmetric airfoils as its blade shape, but several research works indicated that the performance of fixed pitch SB-VAWT with asymmetric blades have the potential to exhibit superior characteristics at low Reynolds numbers (RN). However, currently there is lack of comprehensive information in the public domain regarding the desirable aerodynamic and geometric features of prospective asymmetric airfoils for SB-VAWTs. Against this backdrop, this research has been undertaken with an objective to perform detail systematic investigative analysis with asymmetric airfoils appropriate for smaller-capacity fixed-pitch SB-VAWT with optimum design configuration.

A computational method has been developed in the present study after identifying and considering the main aerodynamic challenges of smaller-capacity SB-VAWT using theoretical coefficients rather than using rarely available expensive experimental results. After conducting literature survey and detail performance analyses with available asymmetric airfoils, it has been found that there is a need for designing special-purpose airfoils for smaller-capacity SB-VAWT. Under this circumstance, a new airfoil “MI-VAWT1” has been designed and it has been found that its performance is much superior to other prospective asymmetric airfoils and conventionally used symmetric NACA 0015 at low RN and low tip speed ratio ranges. Another airfoil, named as “MI-STRUT1”, has been designed for blade supporting struts to reduce the detrimental parasitic drag losses. After considering the design parameters and detailed sensitivity analyses with selected important parameters, a new class of 3kW SB-VAWT (named as “MI-VAWT 3000”) has been proposed.