building integrated wind energy

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Jialin Wang


In considering methods of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide; there is a growing interest for use of wind power at domestic building in U.K. But the technology of wind turbines development in building environment is more complicated than in open areas. Small wind turbines in suburban areas have been reported as having unsatisfactory energy output, but it is not clear whether this is due to insufficient wind resource or low turbine efficiency. The aim of this research is to discover whether the wind resource in suburban areas is large enough for small wind turbines to produce a useful energy output.Historical wind data and manufacturers' turbine characteristics were used to estimate the hourly wind speed and energy output for different U.K. cities, terrain zones and turbines. It was found that for turbines at 10 m height in suburban areas and depending on city, the annual wind energy conversion efficiency ranged from about 20 to 40 %, while the number of turbines required to produce the annual average electricity consumption of a UK dwelling ranged from about 6 for the smallest turbine (5.3 m2 rotor area) to about 1 for the largest (35.26 m2 rotor area).This analysis was based on average conditions, but the wind speed near buildings can vary considerably from one point to another. In order to predict the performance of wind turbines more accurately, the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) of suburban areas was simulated in both CFD and wind tunnel models, and models of groups of semi-detached and terraced houses were set in this ABL. It was found that at 10 m height in the area of the houses, the turbulence intensity was too high for satisfactory operation of wind turbines (19 to 35 %) while the mean velocity at different points ranged from 86 to 108 % of the 10 m reference velocity. At 30 m height the turbulence intensity was satisfactory (less than 19 %), while the mean velocity ranged from 92 to 103 % of the 30 m reference velocity. It is concluded that for wind turbines in suburban areas, at 10 m height the wind speed is too low and the turbulence is too high for satisfactory performance, while at 30 m height the wind speed is much higher and the turbulence is low enough.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Jonathan Dewsbury (Supervisor)
Award date1 Aug 2013