Field testing of morphing flaps on a wind turbine blade using an outdoor rotating rig

Qing Ai, Paul M. Weaver*, Athanasios Barlas, Anders Smærup Olsen, Helge Aagaard Madsen , Tom Løgstrup Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    In recent years, active flap devices on wind turbine blades have been shown to both reduce peak loads at the tower and extend blade fatigue life. Associated benefits include retrofitting existing tower infrastructure with longer and greater energy-producing blades whilst also extending service life of blades. In the current work, a novel wind turbine blade control method using morphing flaps has been successfully investigated and demonstrated using a scaled demonstrator mounted on an outdoor rotating test rig. Shape adaptive structures that remain conformal to the flow are increasingly referred to as morphing devices. As part of the project, a novel morphing flap device was developed for a recently designed aerofoil. The proposed morphing flap comprises a light-weight carbon fibre laminate, 3D printed honeycomb core and a flexible silicone surface. A comprehensive test campaign using an outdoor rotating test rig under atmospheric conditions was carried out to assess the potential effectiveness. As shown by experimental data, the morphing flap provides good performance in terms of aerodynamic lift control of the blade and can provide dynamic load alleviation capability.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRenewable Energy
    Pages (from-to)53-65
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Morphing flap
    • Turbine blade
    • Load control
    • Rotating test rig
    • Dynamic


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