Engineers at Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science have collaborated with University of Minnesota to innovate new systems and grooved designs to potentially enhance wind turbine efficiency.
An issue at the core of wind turbine technology is the inherent changeability due to turbulent flow, upstream turbine wakes, wind shear, and wind gusts. This new approach targets the air-flow itself to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.
"It is exciting for us to be involved in the world-class wind energy consortium led by the University of Minnesota," says LCS researcher Mark Glauser, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. "This is a wonderful opportunity to transition our expertise in intelligent systems for flow control, developed largely through support from the aerospace sector, to this important and growing area of the renewable energy sector.''
The approach estimates flow conditions over blade surfaces from surface measurements, then uses this information in a controller to relay real-time actuation on the blades to control the airflow, resulting in increased efficiency of the system.