Wind Turbine Design: With Emphasis on Darrieus Concept by Ion Paraschivoiu

By Paul Gipe

Ion Paraschivoiu is Aeronautical Chair Professor at École Polytechnique de Montréal and he brings to the cornucopia of new books on wind energy his specialty: Darrieus turbines.

Like David Spera in Wind Turbine Technology (1994), Paraschivoiu seeks to document for posterity the status of a technology. Spera chronicled the results from two decades of research by the U.S. Government and its contractors. Paraschivoiu does the same in the Canadian context, where the Darrieus or more specifically the phi-configuration Darrieus was reinvented by R. Rangi and P. South during the heyday of centrally-directed research in Canada. The Canadian wind program almost exclusively focused on Darrieus technology from the 1970s into the 1990s.

Paraschivoiu’s book includes not only laboratory measurements on Darrieus performance, but also data from prototypes operating in the field in both Canada and the United States. His principle contribution, Paraschivoiu believes, is a design model for Darrieus turbines using double-multiple stream tubes.

As a proponent of Darrieus turbines Paraschivoiu argues that vertical-axis wind turbines are environmentally preferred to conventional horizontal-axis turbines–a contention that will surely be contested. He argues, for example, that VAWTs produce less noise than conventional turbines because they operate at lower tip-speed ratios. Similarly, VAWTs cause less electromagnetic interference than conventional turbines he says. Most contentious is his claim that medium-size VAWTs are aesthetically more acceptable than conventional turbines based on a 1987 opinion survey by Southern California Edison of reaction to a 500 kW DAF-InDal turbine at SCE’s test site in the San Gorgonio Pass.

The strong point of Paraschivoiu’s book is his emphasis on charting the results of actual tests. While there’s more than enough theory for any hardened engineer, the book is chocked full of charts documenting the performance of a long line of experimental and some commercial Darrieus turbines.

The appendix also includes a useful list of web sites of wind organizations worldwide, something missing from the other new books on wind energy.

The book’s only weakness is the lack of photographs, especially of Canadian turbines and of the more obscure experimental Darrieus turbines once developed in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Germany; illustratons of which would be beneficial for future designers.

Wind Turbine Design is probably the definitive work on Darrieus technology.

Wind Turbine Design: With Emphasis on Darrieus Concept by Ion Paraschivoiu, ISBN: 2-553-00931-3, 18.5 cm x 23 cm (~7 x 9 inches), 590 pages, $145,00 CAN, $116.00 US, 2002. Available from École Polytechnique de Montréal,,

Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Wind Energy
Wind Definition and Characteristics
Wind Turbines
Wind Energy Applications
Benefits and Obstacles in Wind Energy Development
Overview of Wind Energy Development
Wind Energy Developed in the World
Chapter 2
State-of-the-Art of Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines
The Madaras Rotor Concept
Savonius Rotor
Drag-Driven Device
Lift-Driven Device
Vortex Modelling Cross-Wind Axis Machine
Aerodynamic Characteristics
Chapter 3
The Darrieus Wind-Turbine Concept
Geometry of the Darrieus Rotor
Chapter 4
Aerodynamic Performance Prediction Models
Single Streamtube Model
Multiple Streamtubes Model
Vortex Models
A High Speed Lifting Line Model for Darrieus Turbines
Local-Circulation Model
Chapter 5
Unsteady Aerodynamics CFD Models
Numerical Procedure
Turbulence Modelling
Results and Discussion
Conclusions and Recommendations
Chapter 6
Double-Multiple-Streamtube : A Practical Design Model
Double Actuator Disk Theory
Double Actuator Disk Momentum Theory
Blade Element Theory
Double-Multiple-Streamtube Model for Studying Darrieus Turbine
Aerodynamic Analysis of the Darrieus Wind Turbines Including Dynamic-Stall Effects
Darrieus Rotor Aerodynamics in Turbulent Wind
Comparison between DMS Model and Other Computer Codes
Blade Tip and Finite Aspect Ratio Effects on the Darrieus Rotor
Performance Predictions of VAWTs with SNL Airfoil Blades
CARDAAV Software
Chapter 7
Aerodynamic Loads and Performance Tests
Water Channel Experiments
Wind Tunnel Experiments
Field Test of Darrieus Wind Turbines
Commercial Prototype Wind Turbines
Measurements and Prediction of Aerodynamic Torques for a Darrieus Wind Turbine
Chapter 8
Innovative Aerodynamic Devices for Darrieus Rotor
Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) Airfoils and Tapered Blades
Vortex Generators
Pumped Spoiling
Toe-in-Angle Effects
Blade Camber
Blade Roughness (Soiling), Blade Icing and Parasite Drag Effects
Chapter 9
Future Trends Design of Darrieus Wind Turbine
Wind Turbine Design Parameters
Darrieus Wind Turbine Design
Comparison between Horizontal-Axis and Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines
Chapter 10
Acceptability, Environmental and Social Aspects of Wind Energy
Environmental Aspects
Gas Emissions : Wind and Other Energy Sources
Public Attitude in Different Countries
Social Impact
Wind Power and Traditional Power Sources