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EXPERIENCE

Teferi Taye

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Energy Division, Equatorial Business Group (EBG) Plc., Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Published in the Journal of the ESME, Vol. II, No. 2, October 1999

Reprinted with ESME permission by the African Technology Forum

ABSTRACT

The paper briefly discusses the underlying theory in wind harnessing by deriving some of the

important equations, like the maximum attainable power factor, the various forces, moments, and

their resulting stresses. The experience of the author over the last two decades in research and

development endeavor in wind energy harnessing is summarized. Finally, the initiatives being

taken by EBG to put this water lifting system to the benefit of the society, where the author is now

in charge of this undertaking is introduced.

Maximum Power Factor (Cp)

Rotor Blade Forces

Pump Load Forces

Stresses in the Rotor Spoke at the Hub

Calculation of the Combined Stresses

Sizing of a Windpump

Assessment of Water Requirement

Calculating the Hydraulic Power Requirement

Determining the Available Wind Power Resource

The Ethiopian Experience

Wind Resource

Ethiopian Water Resources Authority (EWRA)

American Presbyterian Mission at Omo

Addis Ababa University (AAU)

Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA)

The Experience of the Research and Development Services (RADS) of

the Ethiopian Water Works Construction Authority (EWWCA)

Equatorial Business Group's (EGB) Initiatives

Conclusion

Wind is simply air in motion. It is the movement of the air mass, caused by uneven heating of the

atmosphere by the sun. That is the source of wind energy. The wind contains energy by the

virtue of .its motion, and this is called kinetic energy. [1]

1.1.1 The Axial Momentum Theory

A windmill extracts power from the wind by slowing down the wind. At stand still, the rotor obviously

produces no power, and at very high rotational speeds the air is more or less blocked by the rotor, and again

no power is produced.

From the air stream tube of Fig. 1, conservation of mass dictates that:

r * A1 * V1 = r * A * Vax = r * A2 * V2 (1)

Where

r is the density of air [kg/m3]

A1 is the area of the air stream far before the rotor [m2]

V1 is the wind velocity of the air stream far before the rotor [m/s]

A is the rotor swept area [m2]

Vax is the wind velocity at the plane of the rotor [m/s]

A2 is the area of the air stream far behind the rotor [m2]

V2 is the wind velocity of the air stream far behind the rotor [m/s]

The thrust force (F) on the rotor is given by the change in momentum:

F = (r * A1 * V1 ) * V1 - (r * A2 * V2 ) * V2 (2)

Where

F is the thrust on the rotor [N]

The difference in power before and after the rotor is the power extracted by the windmill which equals the

product of the thrust force (F) and the velocity (Vax) given by equation 4.

= r * A * Vax * ( V1 - V2) * Vax (4)

Where

Pkin is the kinetic power extracted by the rotor [W]

Velocity of the wind in the rotor plane is, therefore, the average of the upstream and low stream wind

speed. Substituting the value of Vax from equation 5 into equation 4, the power becomes:

= 1/4 * r * A * (V13 - V23 - V1* V22 + V12 * V2) (6)

To find the maximum power extracted by the rotor, differentiate equation 6 with respect to V2 and equate it

to zero.

dPkin / dV2 = 1/4 * r * A * (-3 * V22 - 2 * V1* V2 + V12) = 0 (7)

Since the area of the rotor (A) and the density of the air (r) cannot be zero, the expression in the bracket of

equation 7 has to be zero. Hence, using the formula for the solution of a quadratic equation, equation 7

yields:

V2 = 1/3 * V1 (8)

3

Pkin = 16/27 * 1/2 * r * A* V1 (9)

The theoretical maximum fraction of the power in the wind which could be extracted by an ideal windmill

is, therefore 16 / 27 = 59.3%. this fraction is called the Betz Coefficient. Because of aerodynamic

imperfections in any practical machine and of mechanical loses, the power extracted is less than that

calculated above.

P = Cp * 1/2 * r * A V3 (10)

Where

P is the shaft power [W]

Cp is the rotor coefficient (ratio of shaft power of the windmill to the power in the wind in the cross-

sectional area of the rotor)

V is the velocity of the wind [m/s]

• The power is proportional to the density (r) of the air which varies slightly with altitude and

temperature

• The power is proportional to the area (A) swept by the blades and thus to the square of the radius

(R) of the rotor; and

• the power varies with the cube of the wind speed (V3). This means that the power increases

eightfold if the wind speed is doubled. Hence, one has to pay particular attention in site

selection.

The maximum axial force acting in the plane of rotation occurs when the rotor extracts the

maximum power from the wind, i.e. when the low stream wind speed is 1/3 of the upstream wind

speed. By substituting this value into equation 3, the maximum axial wind thrust is obtained as

shown by equation 11.

2

Fmax = 4/9 * r * A* V1 (11)

Loads on a rotor blade arise from torque, thrust, weight and forces imposed by the load.

1.2.1 Torque

The torque on the rotor is the resulting moment of the rotor axis of the aerodynamic forces on the

blades.

The equation of motion for a blade element (dm) is described by the Second Law of Newton

(equation 12)

2 2

dF = at* dm = r * d q /dt * dm (12)

Where

dF is the differential force on the differential mass [N]

dm is the differential mass at radius r [kg]

at is the tangential acceleration, which is equal to the radius (r) times the second derivative of

2

the position angle q [m/s ]

q is the position of the blade, positive when measured from the negative z-axis [rad]

r is the radius of the mass element dm [m]

t is time [s]

I= r2 * dm (14)

The shearing force (Fb) on a blade (near the hub) being the resultant force of all acceleration forces (dF) is

given by equation 16.

Fb = dF = r * d2q /dt2 * dm

Where the first moment of inertia of a blade (Jb) [kg-m] is given by equation 17.

Jb = r * dm (17)

Substituting d2q /dt2 from equation 16 into equation 15, the torque becomes

Q = I * Fb / Jb (18)

Hence,

Fb =Q * Jb / I = Q * Jb / (i * I) , acting at Ib / Jb (19)

where

i is the number of spokes [-]

Ib is the moment of inertia of a blade [kg-m2]

The bending moment per blade (Mblade) [N-m] is given by equation 20.

Mblade = Q / i (20)

1.2.2 Thrust

The thrust force (F), assumed to b linear with the radius (r), imposes a shearing force as well as a

bending moment on the rotor blade at the hub. The shearing force per blade (Fi) can be

calculated from equation 21.

2

Fi = 4/9 * r * A* V1 / i , acting at 2/3 R (21)

where

R is the radius of the rotor [m]

The bending moment (Mb) due to the shearing force is calculated from equation 22.

Mb = Fi * 2/3 * R (22)

1.2.3 Gravity

The weight of a blade imposes a bending moment (Mbg), a tangential force (Fgt) and a radial force

(Fgr) upon the rotor blade at the hub.

Fig 3: Weight of a Blade

Simultaneous yawing of the head around the z-axis and turning of the rotor around the x-axis

imposes inertia forces and moments on the rotor blades and the shaft.

The derivation of these forces and moments due to inertia is done by writing equations for the

position of a mass element dm (Fig. 4) in terms of r, f, q , qy, Wx, Wz, and differentiating twice the

resulting equations, so as to get the respective acceleration in the x, y, and z directions. The

products of these acceleration sand the differential mass (dm) result in forces. only the final

results are listed hereunder for the sake of brevity.

The axial, tangential and radial forces and moments about the axial and tangential axis are given

by equations 26 to 30 respectively.

2

Fia = 2 * cos (q) * Wx* Wz * Jb - f * Wz * Mblade (26)

2

Fit = sin (q) cos (q) * Wz * Jb (27)

2 2 2

Fir = Wx * Jb + sin (q) * Wz * Jb (28)

2

Mbia = sin (q) cos (q) * Wz * Ib (29)

2

Mbit = 2 * cos (q) * Wx* Wz * Ib - f * Wz * Jb (30)

Where

Wx is the angular speed of the rotor [rad/s]

Wz is the angular speed of the head (yawing) [rad/s]

f is the eccentricity of the rotor plane with respect to eh vertical axis of the rotor head [m]

Mblade is the mass of the blade [kg]

Subscripts a, r and t are for axial, tangential, and radial.

The pump rod force (Fp) arises from static, acceleration, friction and shock loads of water and

pump rods. Fp can be calculated, realizing that work dome by the wind during one cycle is equal

to the work done by the pump load force:

Fp = 2 * p * Q / S (31)

where

S is the stroke [m]

The bending moment (Mbp) on a rotor blade at the hub due to the pump rod force (Fp) is given by

equation 32.

where

qb is the angle between the crank and the blade in question. b is positive when measured from

the blade to crank in clockwise direction. [rad/s]

The shearing force on the blade at the hub due to the pump rod force is given by equation 33.

2

Since axial and tangential forces are perpendicular, the resulting shearing stress (t) [N/m ] can be

calculated using equation 34.

2 2 1/2

t = ( (S Fa) + (S Fr) ) / As (34)

where

2

As is the area of the spoke [m ]

2

Radial forces on a rotor blade cause a tensile stress stress (st) [N/m ] given by equation 35.

st = S Fr / As (35)

The combined moment (Mtot) of the axial moment (Ma) and tangential moment (Mt) is given by

equation 36.

2 2 1/2

Mtot = ( (S Ma) + (S Mt) ) (36)

2

The resulting bending moment (Mtot) causes a bending stress (sb) [N/m ]which is given by

equation 37.

st = Mtot * C / Is (37)

where

C is the distance from the neutral axis of the rotor spoke to the outer fibre in the direction of Mtot

[m]

2

The combined stress (scomb) [N/m ] of shearing stress (t), tensile stress (st) and bending stress (sb)

is given by equation 38.

2 2 1/2

scomb = ( (sb + st) + 3t ) (38)

Substituting the respective values of the stresses from the preceding equations, scomb reduces to

equation 39.

2 2 1/2 2 2 2 2 1/2

scomb = [ [ [ (S Ma) + (S Mt) ] * (C / Is) + (S Fr / As ) ] + 3 * [ (S Fa) + (S Fr) ] / As ] (39)

This combined stress should be equal to or less than the admissible tensile stress of the material.

2. SIZING OF A WINDPUMP

The steps to be followed in selecting the optimum size of a windpump for a site are:

• Determination of the hydraulic power requirement;

• Determination of the available wind power resource;

• Identification of the design month; and

• Sizing of the windpump

The amount of water needed to irrigate a given area depends on a number of factors. The most

important of these are:

• Climatic conditions;

• Type and condition of soil;

• Topography of the terrain;

• Conveyance efficiency;

• Field application efficiency; and

• Water quality

The pumped volume required per day for irrigation is calculated using equation 40.

where

3

Vol is the pumped volume [m /day]

Plot is the plot size [ha]

Canopy is the canopy fraction ( the fraction of the plot covered with plant branches and leaves) [-]

2

Demand is the crop water demand. As a rule of thumb, take 5-6 l/day/m of crop canopy in

cooler

2

or more humid climates, and 7-8 l/day/m in hot, dry climates. This figure can be

converted

3

to its equivalent in m /day/ha of crop canopy by simply multiplying is by a factor of 10.

3

[m /day/ha]

Eff is the field application efficiency [-].

A water consumption of about 20 litres per capita per day is considered reasonable for the rural

population of Ethiopia. Thus, for a typical village population of 500, water supplies will have to be

3

sized to provide about 10 m per day, and typical daily water requirements for a range of livestock

is shown in Table 1.

Species l/Head/Day

Camel 40-90

Horse 30-40

Cattle 20-40

Milk cow in

70-100

production

Sheep and goats 1-5

Poultry 0.2-0.3

Once the water requirement is known, the hydraulic power requirement (the potential power

needed to raise a certain quantity of water through a certain head) can be determined, using

equation 41.

where

Ph is the hydraulic power [W]

3

q is the pumping rate [m /s]

3

rw is the density of water = 1000 kg/m

2

g is the acceleration due to gravity = 9.81 m/s

H is the total head [m]

The head (H) that is "felt" at the pump is the sum of:

• The maximum expected draw-down, i.e. the lowering of the water level due to pumping;

• The height of the tank (if any) above the surface; and

• Additional dynamic head due to frictional losses.

So,

3

Ph = 0.113 q * H if q is expressed in m /day

The wind is stronger higher up, and weaker near the ground. This is due to the friction between

the wind and the ground. The type of surface affects the way the wind is slowed down. If the

wind speed V(Zr) is known at some reference height Zr, the wind speed V(Z) at any other height Z

up to 60 m at he same location can be estimated by equation 42.

V(Z) / V(Zr) =[ ln (Z/Zo) ] / [ ln (Zr/Zo) ] (42)

where

Z is the height where the wind speed is required. In our case, it is the height from the ground

level to the rotor axis. [m]

Zr is the reference height, where the wind speed is known [m]

Zo is the roughness height related to the type of the terrain according to Table 2 [m]

ln is the natural logarithm

Flat beach, ice, snow, landscape, ocean 0.005

low grass, airports, empty crop land 0.030

Open

high grass, low crops 0.100

Rough tall row crops, low woods 0.250

Very rough forests, orchards 0.500

Closed villages, suburbs > 1.000

Towns town centers, open spaces in forests > 2.000

After the average wind speed at the hub height is calculated, the air density (r) is determined from

Table 3.

3

Table 3: Dry Air Density in kg/m at Different Heights (h) Above Sea Level; Source: Ref. 3.

h (m) at 20 °C at 0 °C

0 1.204 1.292

500 1.134 1.217

1000 1.068 1.146

1500 1.005 1.078

2000 0.945 1.014

2500 0.887 0.952

3000 0.833 0.894

3500 0.781 0.839

4000 0.732 0.786

4500 0.686 0.736

5000 0.642 0.689

Having determined the air density and the wind speed, the specific wind power is then calculated

using equation 43.

3

Pwind = 1/2 * r * Vav

where

2

Pwind is the specific wind power [W/m ]

Vav is the average wind speed [m/s]

The sizing methodology is based on the concept of the critical month or design month. This is the

month in which water demand is highest in relation to he wind power resource, i.e. the month

when the system will be most heavily loaded. The design month is found by calculating he ratio

of the hydraulic power requirement to the wind power resource for each month. the month is

which this ratio is a maximum is the design month. [3]

The rotor diameter is the most important characteristic of a windpump, determining both its output

and cost. The exact determination of a rotor size depends on the power factor (Cp) of the wind

rotor, the combined efficiency of the transmission and pump (h) and the density of air (r).

However a fairly accurate size of a windpump can be found by taking representative values of

0.3, 0.7 and 0.945 for Cp, h, and r respectively, and equating the mechanical power of the

windpump system with the required hydraulic power as shown in equation 44.

3

h * Cp * 1/2 * r * A * Vav = 0.133 * q * H (44)

where

h is the combined efficiency of the transmission and the pump ~ 0.7 [-]

Cp is the power factor ~ 0.3 [-]

3

r is the air density. At 2000 m altitude and 20 °C, = 0.945 [kg/m ]

2

A is the swept area of the rotor [m ]

2

Substituting these known parameters into equation 44, the area of the rotor (A) [m ] is, therefore,

given by equation 45.

3 3

A = [ 0.113 * q * H ] / [0.7 * 0.3 * 0.5 * 0.945 * Vav ] = 1.14 * q * H / Vav (45)

Since a windpump is usually specified in terms of its rotor diameter (D) its size is given by

equation 46.

1/2

D = (4 * A / p) (46)

where

D is the diameter of the rotor [m]

p is equal to 3.14

The total wind resource of Ethiopia is estimated at 20.064 million TJ/year [4]. Wind energy is one

of the resources which is virtually unexploited in Ethiopia. Only sporadic attempts were made by

a few organizations to harness this free and inexhaustible source of energy.

According to Adams [5], "the Rift Valley and the Eastern lowlands have a moderate wind regime

well suited for medium machines... the Western province 9all around the Sudanese border) are

generally poor in wind energy. The rest of the country (mainly the Central highlands) are suitable

for low or medium running machines, especially if careful site selection is used."

Wolde-Ghiorgis [6] has mad a wind energy survey using wind data collected by the National

Meteorological Services Agency (NAMSA) and showed that mean winds speeds grater than 2.8

m/s are found extensively in Ethiopia.

Munoz [7] studied 18 drought stricken sites and concluded that wind energy was the most

economical and expeditious natural resource to be used for pumping applications in those areas.

and installed by the then EWRA, notably in the Rift Valley basin. Most of these machines were

either blown down by severe storms or were damaged for lack of proper maintenance [Author's

observation].

In 1973, the "Food from Wind Project" had used a series of locally manufactured Cretan Sail

windmills for irrigating small plots of land on the banks of the Omo River [8].

During the "Development Through Cooperation Campaign", three types of' vertical-axis and two

types of horizontal-axis rotors were manufactured and tested by the Mechanical Engineering

Department, Faculty of Technology of the AAU. Experimentation on the above wind turbines was

discontinued when the Campaign ended in 1976.

The other main organization that is engaged in wind pumping technology is LVIA. It is based in

Meki and engaged in partially manufacturing multi-bladed windpumps with rotor diameters of 5

and 6 metres locally. Some components of these units are produced in Addis Ababa, others are

fabricated in Meki and a few components are imported from Italy. The density of installation of

these water abstraction devices is highest in the Rift Valley basin.

3.6 The Experience of the Research and Development Services (RADS) of the Ethiopian

Water Works Construction Authority (EWWCA)

construction materials, over-speed control mechanisms and various types of pumps.

RADS had designed, manufactured and tested 7 types of windpump prototypes ranging in

diameter from 3 to 10 metres. Only one of these prototypes was a vertical-axis windpump, known

as the Filippini Rotor. From the scanty information available to the author, the 10 metre diameter

windpump (Fig.6) is believed to be the largest ever built in Africa. It is also reckoned as the first of

its type to employ all feathering blades (turning of the blades edgewise by means of fly weights

against a return spring to reduce thrust force and power) for high speed protection on

windpumps. This feature however, is very common on wind electric generating rotors having

blades of not more than 3 in number. The earlier units were high speed runners with aerofoiled

Zigba wooden blades, while the later ones were slow runners with steel sheet blades (Fig. 7).

Both types of windpumps have their own pros and cons.

Fig. 6: 10 m Diameter Wind Pump

The rotors with high tip-speed ratios (ratio of the blade tip speed to the wind speed) require

minimal material for their construction. Nevertheless, their inherent low starting torque feature

makes them appropriate only for very high wind speed regimes or require additional torque

minimizing devices, a clutch for example, as used by RADS, if they are to be operated in the low

wind speed areas.

On the other hand, rotors with more blades (high material consumption) run slower but they are

able to pump with more forces. This type of windpumps are suited for low wind speed regimes.

The lessons learnt from this endeavour were:

• Wind powered pumping for small scale irrigation schemes and potable water supply is

appropriate, at least for most of the Rift Valley basin in Ethiopia, where the average wind

speed is greater than 3 m/s;

• Field installation of windpumps is simple and can be done with hoists and frames made

for this purpose;

• High speed piston pumping must be avoided because:

- Cavitation and shock loads can cause damage to the water supply system;

- Buckling of the pump rod can occur; and

- Reversing of the loads cause slack components to hammer with each other;

thereby reducing their life expectancy.

• Low speed piston pumping could be used (with large diameter) for irrigation, and for

bore-hole pumping with smaller diameter;

• Rotary pumps can be used with medium or fast runners; and

• Because of their high material consumption and the difficulty encountered to

accommodate -high speed protection on vertical-axis rotors, future efforts should

concentrate only on horizontal-axis rotors.

Fabrication of windpumps, among others has the following advantages and benefits:

• Increases employment;

• Makes available spare parts;

• Reduces importation of fossil fuels;

• Where there is no grid power and the average wind speed is greater than 3 m/s;

• Unlike engine pumps, windpumps have no fuel requirement;

• There is no harmful pollution as the result of their use;

• Windpumps have long life, typically 20 years; and

• Local manufacture offers the potential for self reliance of the Country and, therefore, carries with

it benefits that reach beyond financial gains alone.

The Energy Division of EBG has embarked on the manufacture of a 6 metre diameter, multi-

bladed windpump. This windpump is mainly based on Tozzi and Bardi's design, an Italian

windpump manufacturer employing both casting and welding technologies. Orientation of the

rotor into the wind is realized by a spring loaded tail vane, while the over-speed control is

achieved by eccentrically positioning the rotor axis from the tower centre. The manufacturing of

these mills is done partly in EBG's own workshop and by sub-contracting other workshops for

components that require special purpose machines.

Once again, this venture has vividly demonstrated that windpumps can be manufactured in small

engineering workshops in Ethiopia. The attempt has also shown that manufacturing of a product

need not necessarily be carried out under one shade. By combining the skilled manpower and

machinery of different organizations, high quality products can be manufactured locally.

4. CONCLUSION

The prevailing customs regulation, which stipulates payment of above 30% taxes on raw

materials and only 10% on finished products does not encourage local manufacture at all. It goes

without saying that such a skewed regulation will have to be reversed in favour of lo cal

production, if a meaningful industrial growth is to be achieved. Hence, all sorts of incentives are

anticipated from the government to change the low manufacturing base of the country to a vibrant

manufacturing industry.

REFERENCES

1. Frankel, P.L. and et al, 1993, Windpumps: A Guide for Development Workers., Intermediate

Technology Publications Ltd., UK, London ISBN 1-85339-126-3.

2. Lysen, E.H., 1982, Introduction to Wind Energy, Steering Committee on Wind Energy in

Developing Countries (SWD, later renamed CWD), SWD 82-1, Eindhoven University of

Technology.

3. Meel, J.V. and Smulders, P., 1989, Wind Pumping: A Handbook, World Bank Technical Paper

Number 101. Industry Energy Series, The World Bank, Washington DC, USA, 1989. ISSN 0253-

7494.

4. CESEN & ENEC, 1986, Executive Summary. Cooperation Agreement in Energy Sector

between the Ministry of Mines and Energy of the Provisional Military Government of Socialist

Ethiopia, Ethiopian National Energy Committee (ENEC) and CESEN -

ANSALDO/FINMECCANICA Group.

5. Adams, R.J., 1985, Meteorological Wind and Solar Energy Applications in Ethiopia, (A Report

for the World Meteorological Organization).

Faculty of Technology, AAU, Addis Ababa.

7. Munoz, C.A.,1974, Analysis of Wind Data In the Drought Affected Areas in Ethiopia., United

Nations Development Programme.

8. Frankel, P.L. ,1975, Food From Windmills. Intermediate Technology Publication Ltd. UK,

London.

ABBREVIATIONS

°

C Degree Centigrade

ha Hectare

kg Kilogram

l Litre

m Metre

m2 Square metre

m3 Cubic metre

rad radian

S Second

TJ Terra Joule (1012 J)

W Watt

N Newton

AAU Addis Ababa University

CWD Consultancy Services in Wind Energy for Developing Countries

EBG Equatorial Business Group

ENEC Ethiopian National Energy Committee

EWRA Ethiopian Water Resources Authority

EWWCA Ethiopian Water Works Construction Authority

LVIA Lay Volunteers International Association

NMSA National Meteorological Services Agency

Plc. Private Limited Company

RADS Research and Development Services

SWD Steering Committee on Wind Energy in Developing Countries

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