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A Morphing Wind Turbine Blade Control Surface

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen Daynes, Paul M. Weaver

University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Paper No. SMASIS2011-4961, pp. 531-540; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • ASME 2011 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Volume 1
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, September 18–21, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5471-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The loads on wind turbine components are primarily from the blades. It is important to control these blade loads in order to avoid damaging the wind turbine. Rotor control technology is currently limited to controlling the rotor speed and the pitch of the blades. As blades increase in length it becomes less desirable to pitch the entire blade as a single rigid body, but instead there is a requirement to control loads more precisely along the length of the blade. This can be achieved with aerodynamic control devices such as flaps. Morphing technologies are good candidates for wind turbine flaps because they have the potential to create structures that have the conflicting abilities of being load carrying, light-weight and shape adaptive. A morphing flap design with a highly anisotropic cellular structure is presented which is able to undergo large deflections and high strains without a large actuation penalty. An aeroelastic analysis couples the work done by aerodynamic loads on the flap, the flap strain energy and the required actuation work to change shape. The morphing flap is experimentally validated with a manufactured demonstrator and shown to have reduced actuation requirements compared to a conventional hinged flap.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Blades , Wind turbines



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