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  3. PhD: Aerodynamic study of the onshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and Wind Farm

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PhD: Aerodynamic study of the onshore Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and Wind Farm

Wind turbines as a renewable energy source have always been part of public debate. While relatively cheap, NIMBY (not in my backyard) effects are on the lure. …

meer dan een jaar geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2266 - € 2897 per maand


Wind turbines as a renewable energy source have always been part of public debate. While relatively cheap, NIMBY (not in my backyard) effects are on the lure. Vertical Axis Wind Turbines are a possible design solution for mid-scale (100kW-1MW) for environments in close proximity to people.

Quieter and mode visually appealing, VAWTs are however challenging to understand and design, due to the 3D unsteady aerodynamics.

The objective of this PhD is to study the aerodynamics of VAWTs in a theoretical, numerical and experimental approach, as part of a national project in cooperation with industry and other research institutes to develop a commercial VAWT. The research also includes the test and analysis of a full scale prototype, bringing the research from TRL 1 to TRL 6.

The scope and activities of the research include:

1-Design and analysis of the turbine aerodynamics will be performed to predict turbine efficiency and general performance for a given wind condition. The three dimensional geometry of the turbine will be modelled in order to estimate performance effects, including the rotor, struts, and connections. Aerodynamic blade and thrust loads will be predicted using a multi-fidelity modelling approach. An experimental study of the designed rotor geometry will be performed in a controlled wind tunnel to validate the predicted aerodynamic loading.

2-To test a scaled version of the VAWT in wind tunnel controlled conditions at TUDelft’s Open Jet facility. To evaluate models and design in controlled conditions. To use the results of the test in controlled conditions to complete and interpret the data set from the open field measurements, including aeroelastic scaling.

3-To evaluate the performance the turbine in a wind farm, including multiple VAWT rotors and mixed multi-MW HAWTS and VAWT rotors. To develop, test and validate the wake models and HAWT-VAWT wind farm model and design tools for optimizing the layout and power production. To test the VAWT model in controlled wind tunnel conditions, including performance, wake evolution and interaction between multiple rotors.

The PhD candidate will be part of a team with other PhD students working on VAWT and HAWT aerodynamics.      


The PhD candidate will be part of an international team in both the University and in the project team which sponsors the project. You will be working in an international consortium, which means that good proficiency in the English language (spoken and written) is required. Furthermore, the position requires an MSc in Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics or a comparable degree, thorough knowledge of aerodynamics, as well as excellent programming (C++, Python, …) and mathematical skills. Preferably you also already have experience in writing scientific reports and papers.   


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Carlos Simao Ferreira, Associate professor, email c.j.simaoferreira@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 82073.

To apply, please send an application letter by e-mail, a curriculum vitae, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees, copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, proof of language skills if applicable, and the names of two references to Ms. S.M. Willems at s.m.willems@tudelft.nl.

When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number LR18.28.