While the aerodynamic performance of a wind turbine is best under steady wind flow, the efficiency of the blades degrades when exposed to conditions such as wind gusts, turbulent flow, upstream turbine wakes and wind shear.
Now, a new type of air-flow technology may soon increase the efficiency of large wind turbines under many different wind conditions.
Researchers from Syracuse University's L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) are testing new intelligent-systems-based active flow control methods with support from the U.S. Department of Energy through the University of Minnesota Wind Energy Consortium.
The approach estimates the flow conditions over the blade surfaces from surface measurements, and then uses this information in an intelligent controller to implement real-time actuation on the blades to control the airflow and increase the overall efficiency of the wind turbine system. The work may also reduce excessive noise and vibration due to flow separation.
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