A high voltage DC-DC converter driving a Dielectric Electro Active Polymer actuator for wind turbine flaps

Prasanth Thummala, Zhe Zhang, Michael A. E. Andersen, Ole Cornelius Thomsen

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The Dielectric Electro Active Polymer (DEAP) material is a very thin (~80 μm) silicone elastomer film with a compliant metallic electrode layer on both sides. The DEAP is fundamentally a capacitor that is capable of very high strain. The property that the polymer changes its shape, as a result of the electrostatic forces generated by an applied voltage, can be used in actuators, for instance to adapt the trailing edges of wind turbine blades, for maximum efficiency and increased energy output. Conventional actuator technologies have not proven feasible solutions for driving the wind turbine flaps. With the DEAP based high power actuator, it is expected to make a reliable and light solution with superior controllability. The current DEAP technology requires high DC voltage in the range of kV to fully utilize the DEAP material as an actuator. In this paper we propose a flyback converter topology to obtain high voltage at low current, for driving the DEAP actuator. Simulation and experimental results for uni-directional flyback converter topology are shown.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Universities Power Engineering Conference
Number of pages7
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event47th Universities' Power Engineering Conference - Brunel University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20127 Sep 2012


Conference47th Universities' Power Engineering Conference
LocationBrunel University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Dielectric Electro Active Polymer (DEAP)
  • High voltage, capacitive load
  • Actuator
  • Wind turbine
  • Flaps
  • Flyback
  • PolyPower


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