Aeroelastic Stability of a 2D Airfoil Section equipped with a Trailing Edge Flap

Leonardo Bergami

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    Recent studies conclude that important reduction of the fatigue loads encountered by a wind turbine blade can be achieved using a deformable trailing edge control system. The focus of the current work is to determine the effect of this flap-like system on the aeroelastic stability of a 2D airfoil section. A simulation tool is implemented to predict the flow speed at which a flap equipped section may become unstable, either due to flutter or divergence. First, the stability limits of the airfoil without flap are determined, and, in the second part of the work, a deformable trailing edge flap is applied. Stability is investigated for the uncontrolled flap, and for three different control algorithms. The three controls are tuned for fatigue load alleviation and they are based on, respectively, measurement of the heave displacement and velocity, measurement of the local angle of attack, measurement of the pressure difference between the two sides of the airfoil. The stability of the aeroservoelastic system in a defined equilibrium state, and for a given flow speed, is then determined by solving an eigenvalue problem. Results show that the trailing edge control system modifies significantly the stability limits of the section. In the investigated case, increased flutter limits are reported when the elastic flap is left without control, whereas, by applying any of the control algorithms, the flutter velocity is reduced. Nevertheless, only in the heave control case the flutter limit becomes critically close to normal operation flow speeds. Furthermore, a marked dependence of the stability limits on the control gain is also observed and, by tuning the gain parameters, flutter and divergence can be suppressed for flow speed even above the flutter velocity encountered with uncontrolled flap.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherDanmarks Tekniske Universitet, Risø Nationallaboratoriet for Bæredygtig Energi
    Number of pages112
    ISBN (Print)978-87-550-3711-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R


    • Flutter and Divergence, Deformable Trailing Edge Flap, Active Control Flutter Suppression
    • Risø-R-1663
    • Risø-R-1663(EN)


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