Bluff body flow and vortex - Its application to wind turbines

Yuji Ohya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Some interesting phenomena of vortex flows we have found in past experimental research are described. For a given flow configuration, multiple flow patterns can exist and a sudden change from one flow pattern to another can occur. We observed the alternate switching of the flow patterns with irregular periods around a bluff body. The change of vortex flow pattern around a bluff body with geometrical parameters or stratification is not always continuous but often shows a sudden change in the whole flow pattern. Based on our research on vortex flows, an innovative application of the vortex flow to a shrouded wind turbine is made in which the power output of a wind turbine is remarkably enhanced. Unlike the majority of conventional aerodynamic machinery, which tends to minimize vortex shedding, the vortex formation of our 'brimmed' shroud plays an important role in capturing and concentrating wind energy. Furthermore, aerodynamic noise is reduced in this design. The blade tip vortex is weakened by a counter-rotating vortex generated along the inner side of the shroud as they travel downstream, making the shrouded wind turbine much quieter than conventional turbines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061423
JournalFluid Dynamics Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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