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Vertical Turbine - Derived

by julienM, published

Vertical Turbine - Derived by julienM Jan 7, 2013
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A derivative, maintaining the assembly procedure, but hopefully improving the aerodynamics.

Includes a drop-in replacement, in which the wing profile is swept to make a smoother surface.

The other part is much larger and based on a NACA 2818 profile, which should apparently improve power. The arms are a much narrower oval shape to reduce drag.


The NACA2818 profile includes holes for extra stability. Either a long wire can be passed the entire length of one blade, or short dowels can ensure a good fit. The rear edge should obviously be much sharper, but this was creating prints with a disconnected rear edge.

The pegs visible in the photo were meant to allow interlocking between layers. This would require two sets of parts, as there is a 30° "shift" after every 3 parts. The holes for the dowels should serve the purpose sufficiently.

I may design the top and bottom parts that would be required for a proper turbine, but I want to investigate the profile in OpenFoam first. That may take a while, or never happen. If someone needs these parts, just say so and I will just make them with the current design.

EDIT: Top and bottom parts added. The .zip includes 5 extra pieces that need to be printed to have the top and bottom blades in a plane. I would suggest making a round plate for the top and the bottom.<

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Hi, I like the design very much! I made 'Naca2818_draft3_top2-8mm' as a sample, but it came out quite rough concerning the surface, its quite irregular, its full of triangles (low-res mesh). Also the arm tips could be more aerodynamic I guess. Can you share the CAD files, or re-export them? An other quiestion is, is the NACA2818 modified to make the circular movement?

I've finished putting it together and just dome some basic 'put some skate bearings on it and put it out in the wind' tests. It's quite a windy day in Melbourne today but it has not produced even enough torque to charge a mobile phone.
It's 1mt worth of centre shaft - most of it is filled by turbine.

I came from the Mornington Penninsula today - wish I had it with me there - the wind was 3x as fierce! If it was setup at the beachside of Rye or Rosebud it would probably produce enough to push a small brushless plane motor to charge a 1S LiPo and maybe power a 3w LED.

Sorry to say, but even with that size made (printed with low infill) in suburban Melbourne, it's gonna be a nice garden / house ornament - not unlike a wind chime.

Next time I'm at the beach I'll bring it with for more tests :)
I think it would be cool setting this up with a magnetic base on top of my car and leave it in the carpark of the beach :)
Charging what, I don't know.

I've completed 21 pieces now!
(6x each of the 3 twists + 3x for the bottom)
I have the 8mm steel shaft, so now I just have to drill out the centres, assemble, and print 2 pieces for the top.
The centre holes do need drilling out a bit - bit too tight a fit.
I'm just going to use skate bearings for now - have plenty :)
And then just gotta design up the post mounts.

I'm just on my 2nd piece now. it has about 1mm to spare on the edge when I orientate it diagonally on the platform. (140 x 140)

This is Great! I've been wanting to build one of these for quite a while!

In refrence to the Savonius & Gorlov types, I'm working on the theory / design to couple the two with a torque converter style apparatus, so that when the Savonius starts it will get the Gorlov started. Once started the Gorlov should take over and spin faster and free-spin.

Sound like a good idea?

To be quite honest, I am just getting started with wind turbines. I am more familiar with hydro-turbines. Your guess would be as good as mine. If you have a look around, there are some good forums on VAWT's. That is also how I decided on a NACA2818.

This forum seems to have quite a few people doing designs and tests:

All cool. :) I've started looking through that forum.
Also, I'm up to part 8 of 30 of the middle segments (I'm needing 30 of these to cover 1mt of steel rod). - A fun experiment! :)

One little thing, could you possibly please post the top and bottom segments with 8mm centre holes?

Thankyou if you can!!!

Done. They're the same as the 4mm ones. Some obviously need support for the arms. Should be self-evident from the files.

Not a problem. Is there any changes you suggest? Would just be easier to know before I convert the 5 pieces.

You're an absolute Legend!!! Thankyou!!! :)

I have no further ideas / changes / requests - it's all good for now!
I'll be designing the bearing ends, arms, post brackets, generator holder, etc soon as I get these all printed.

My Prusa just managed to print 3 pieces on one plate. This should speed up the manufacturing speed significantly. The arms seem strong enough, when multiple pieces will be attached together

Hi there,

From experience on my VAWT's (there are a couple variations for reference...) using a nonzero profile does aid sefstarting in some windconditions, but at the apparent loss of torque.

Let us know how it goes when it is printed.

I had to resort to a combination turbine (Savonius & Gorlov) to make it go, with sufficient torque to do something with it.


Forgive my newbieness to VAWT's... when you say a non-zero profile, do you mean a helical type? (I'm guessing that a zero profile would be straight up/down for the chords?)

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure its the angle of the profile from the perpendicular. These profiles face slightly inwards. If I understodd it correctly, its as if an aeroplane wing was facing slightly downwards at the front edge.

The numbers mean something, the firsts digit being the camber.


I saw your designs. Given that there are so many more pieces here, it would have been difficult to include the Savonius inside. The thinking was to complete the Gorlov with a plate top and bottom and to put a Savonius on top. Should be easy to mount to a plate.

These are fanatastic! :)
Your NACA design JUST fits within my build platform!
I have been wanting to build a decent sized VAWT for quite a while.
If you believe this design really will work - I'll have a go at making a large scale version!
From looking at the other VAWT's on thingiverse, my plan was to make enough to cover up one metre of 8mm steel rod (for the centre shaft).

Pardon my newbieness to CAD design, but with the current hole for the centre - the only way I could make this fit 8mm rod would be change the hole size in CAD (one thing that I'm still unable to do as yet) or drill out the hole once it's printed.
Would you know of an easy way that I could use openscad, or any other cad program to change the hole?

I'm not yet using OpenScad, this was Solidworks.

I've uploaded a Version with an 8 mm centre hole. My thinking had been to use a 3 mm, so as to reduce the mass. With the 8 mm you may still need to drill out to fit the rod, but it should give a tighter fit then. Use a steel bit, that works much better than a bit for wood.

You're an absolute Legend! Thankyou!!! :)

I'll let you know my progress.
If I get to the point where I think I might need the top & bottom pieces (if the main parts work quite well) - I'll ask very politely :)

Thankyou again for such an awesome post!!! :)

I put 3 blades on one plate. Ends up at 190*190 mm. Might make the printing quicker.

I'll add the top and bottom parts for 8 mm later.