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Abstract

By means of small wind turbines, it is possible to create distributed sources of electricity useful in areas with good wind conditions. Sometimes, however, it is possible to use small wind turbines also in areas characterized by lower average wind speeds during the year. At the small wind turbine design stage, various types of technical solutions to increase the speed of the wind stream, as well as to optimally orientate it, can be applied. The methods for increasing the efficiency of wind energy conversion into electricity in the case of a wind turbine include: the use of a diffuser shielding the turbine rotor and the optimization of blades mounted on the turbine rotor. In the paper, the influence of the diffuser and rotor blades geometry on the efficiency of an exemplary wind turbine for exploitation in the West Pomeranian Province is investigated. The analyses are performed for three types of the diffuser and for three types of rotor blades. Based on them, the most optimal shapes of the diffuser and blades are selected due to the efficiency of the wind turbine. For the turbine with the designed diffuser, calculations of the output power for the assumed different values of the average annual wind speed and the constant Betz power factor and the specified generator efficiency are made. In all the analyzed cases, the amount of energy that can be generated by the turbine during the year is also estimated. Important practical conclusions are formulated on the basis of these calculations. In the final part of the paper, a 3D model of the wind turbine with the diffuser and rotor blades chosen based on earlier analyses is presented. As a material for the diffuser and rotor blades, glass fiber type A is applied. By means of calculations using the finite element method, the limit displacement of the turbine structure under the influence of a hurricane wind are determined. Based on these calculations, the correctness of the modelled small wind turbine structure has been demonstrated.
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