The National Centre for Research and Development



CORE; Programme area: environment; ID: 200957



Project title: Small Wind Turbine Optimized for Wind Low Speed Conditions


Acronym: STOW


Project Promoter: Military University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering


Polish partners: Lodz University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering


Norwegian Partners: University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science


Project cost (EUR): 931 448


Grant amount (EUR): 931 448

Duration: 38 months






Project summary:

In 2010 Poland submitted to EU  National Action Plan for the promotion of renewable energy sources. It is assumed that by 2020 small wind power sector will produce 550MW of power. Given the current legal status, technical advancement and market offer – objective of the Action Plan is very ambitious.
One of the obstacles is small wind turbine (SWT) economy. Total cost of small (3kW) power stand is 39000PLN. At the same time lack of technical standards is used by many manufacturers to provide overstated parameters of their devices. Clearly, turbine rated at 1kW, and generating 0.3kW can ruin any business plan. Energy Ball from Sweden is one of the examples. It is advertised as a solution for small wind, but tests showed that the power produced over the test period was similar to the classic layouts and reached 20% of catalogue number.
This points at the biggest SWT problem: lack of optimized design, especially in case of aerodynamic layout. The most common market offer: 3-blades horizontal rotor usually works best at wind speed of 8-10m/s, while typical wind speed in Poland is 3-6m/s. Under such conditions these devices hardly produce energy. Lack of optimized layout results from one reason: aerodynamics of SWT requires specialized design tools and high level of expertise. This makes design process too expensive for small companies dominating SWT sector. Therefore, making such solution available can be of great help in popularizing SWT.
Following above conclusion, authors decided to develop SWT layout better suited for low wind speed. Market analyses shows, that work should focus on SWT rated at 3kW. Such turbine is small enough to be installed without building permission and at the same time can give enough power to noticeable reduce electricity cost in typical farm or small manufacture. CFD software running on high performance computer cluster will be main tool used in the process. Wind tunnel tests allowing for results verification will also be performed.


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