Comparison of cross-flow turbine performance under torque-regulated and speed-regulated control
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When experimentally evaluating the performance of a wind or water current turbine, one must impose a regulating torque on the turbine rotor by electrical or mechanical means. Some options limit this controlling torque to a purely resistive quantity, while servomotors and stepper motors allow torque to be applied in the direction of turbine rotation. Any control mode that results in net positive power for a turbine may be of interest for energy harvesting, and all of these are net “fluid-driven”. Here, we present experiments that characterize the power, torque, and force coefficients of a cross-flow turbine operated at a constant rotational speed or under a constant imposed control torque. Time- and phase-average performance coefficients are largely equivalent for the two strategies, though torque-regulated control is restricted to a narrower range of rotational speeds and the two strategies result in slightly different blade kinematics.
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