Today’s wind turbines are designed in a wide range of vertical and horizontal axis types. In this study, several wind turbines are designed for low wind speed areas around the world mainly for domestic energy consumption. The wind speed range of 4–12 mph is considered, which is selected based on the average wind speeds in the Atlanta, GA and surrounding areas. These areas have relatively low average wind speeds compared to various other parts of the United States. Wind energy has been identified as an important source of renewable energy. Traditionally wind energy utilization is limited to areas with higher wind speeds. In reality a lot of areas in the world including Atlanta, GA., have low average wind speeds and demand high energy consumption. In most cases, wind turbines are installed in remote offshore or away from habitat locations, causing heavy investment in installation and maintenance, and loss of energy transfer over long distances. Therefore, the main focus of this study is to extract wind energy domestically at low wind speeds. A few more advantages of small scale wind turbines include reduced visibility, less noise and reduced detrimental environmental effects such as killing of birds, when compared to traditional large turbines. With the latest development in wind turbine technology it is now possible to employ small scale wind turbines that have much smaller foot print and can generate enough energy for small businesses or residential applications. The low speed wind turbines are typically located near residential areas, and are much smaller in sizes compared to the large out of habitat wind turbines. In this study, several designs of wind turbines are modeled using SolidWorks. Virtual aerodynamic analysis is performed using SolidWorks Flow simulation software, and then optimization of the designs is performed based on maximizing the starting rotational torque and acceleration. From flow simulations, forces on the wind turbine blades and structures are calculated, and used in subsequent stress analysis to confirm structural integrity. Critical insight into the low wind speed turbine design is obtained using various configurations and the results are discussed. The study will help identify bottlenecks in the practical and effective utilization of low speed wind energy, and help devise possible remedial plans for the areas around the globe that get low average wind speeds.

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