Research

Objective

Our Objective is to implement a distributed aerodynamic flow control on a wind turbine to improve power generation characteristics and demonstrate feasibility in an actual operating environment.  We must increase efficiency beyond existing technology to effectively meet future goals for wind energy. Additional gains by traditional methods, such as increasing diameter are becoming more costly with less improvement possible.  We realize that small gains can have a potential large impact

More than 100,000 new turbines will be needed to satisfy the Department of Energy’s 20 percent wind by 2030 initiative

Approach

We must seek to minimize aerodynamic losses in Region II with flow control to optimize aerodynamic performance and generate maximum power.

Benefits of this approach:

  • Majority of operation time is spent in this region
  • Applicable to all turbine designs
  • No increase in maximum turbine loading
  • No decrease to time providing rated power

power_graph

 

The First Step:

Utilize blade element momentum therory to simulate baseline performance, acheivable increase in power generation, and required changes in lift radially to optimize lift for power generation. 

Predicted power increase possible for JIMP25 in Region II

Bounded flow control provides majority of gains, 4% improvement in power generation in Region II 

predicted_power_increases_possible_for_region_ii

Required Changes in lift obtain ideal performance in Region II

Lift needs to be added across entire blade with some dependence on wind speed observed

required_changes_in_lift_obtain_ideal_performance_in_region_ii