The Effect of a Flexible Blade for Load Alleviation in Wind Turbines




Castillo, Azael Duran
Jauregui-Correa, Juan C.
Herbert, Francisco
K. Castillo-Villar, Krystel
Franco, Jesus Alejandro
Hernandez-Escobedo, Quetzalcoatl
Perea-Moreno, Alberto-Jesus
Alcayde, Alfredo

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This article presents the analysis of the performance of a flexible wind turbine blade. The simulation analysis is based on a 3 m span blade prototype. The blade has a flexible surface and a cam mechanism that modifies the aerodynamic profile and adapts the surface to different configurations. The blade surface was built with a flexible fiberglass composite, and the internal mechanism consists of a flexible structure actuated with an eccentric cam. The cam mechanism deforms five sections of the blade, and the airfoil geometry for each section was measured from zero cam displacement to full cam displacement. The measured data were interpolated to obtain the aerodynamic profiles of the five sections to model the flexible blade in the simulation process. The simulation analysis consisted of determining the different aerodynamic coefficients for different deformed surfaces and a range of wind speeds. The aerodynamic coefficients were calculated with the BEM method (QBlade®); as a result, the data performance of the flexible blade was compared for the different deformation configurations. Finally, a decrease of up to approximately 6% in the mean bending moment suggests that the flexible turbine rotor presented in this article can be used to reduce extreme and fatigue loads on wind turbines.



wind energy, deformable profile, efficiency, wind turbine, renewable energy


Energies 14 (16): 4988 (2021)


Mechanical Engineering