MSc. Thesis Defense:Aykut Özgün Önol
  • FENS
  • MSc. Thesis Defense:Aykut Özgün Önol

You are here



Aykut Özgün Önol
Mechatronics Engineering, MSc. Thesis, 2016


Thesis Jury

Prof. Dr. Serhat Yeşilyurt (Thesis Advisor), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Onat (Thesis Co-advisor), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Melih Papila, Assist. Prof. Dr. Meltem Elitaş, Prof. Dr. Ata Muğan



Date & Time: August 2nd, 2016 – 2:00 PM

Place: FENS G032

Keywords: Vertical axis wind turbine, computational fluid dynamics modeling, hardware-in-the-loop simulation, model predictive control, maximum power point tracking




Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are advantageous in gusty, turbulent winds with rapidly changing direction such as surface winds by the virtue of their omnidirectional and simple design. Thus, a small-scale VAWT is favorable in urban areas, e.g., on top of a building, as well as in rural areas away from integrated grid systems where it can be used as a portable generator.

          In this thesis, a methodology is presented for the assessment of overall performance for a small-scale VAWT system that consists of a three-straight-bladed rotor with high solidity, electromechanical and power electronics components and controller. Salient features of this approach include a validated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation. The time-dependent, two-dimensional CFD model is coupled with the dynamics of the rotor subject to inertia and generator load. The HIL test-bed consists of an electrical motor, a gearbox, a generator, a rectifier, and a programmable electronic load. In this setup, the electrical motor emulates the VAWT rotor. The HIL simulation is used to study the impact of electromechanical energy conversion on the overall performance and to evaluate control algorithms in real-time. For variable-speed control of the turbine, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and model predictive control (MPC) algorithms and a simple MPC-mimicking control are designed and tested.


            According to results, the coupled CFD model is an effective tool in evaluation of the realistic transient behavior of the VAWT including the inertial effects of the rotor and the feedback control; the electromechanical energy conversion has a profound effect on the power characteristics and the efficiency of the VAWT system; the MPC and MPC-mimicking control algorithms outperform the MPPT algorithms in terms of energy output by allowing deviations from the maximum power instantaneously for future gains in energy generation; and all of the controllers perform satisfactorily under step wind, wind gust and real wind conditions.