General Information

The concept of this project built upon the previous research efforts in the field of active flow control system for wind turbine rotorblades. SMART BLADE has invested heavily in this field with several relevant publications as well as the funding of an entire PhD

The expertise of SMART BLADE in the field of aerodynamics and especially wind turbine passive and active flow control was utilized in the industrial research project: Strukturelle und aerodynamische Auslegung eines Rotorblattes mit Active Flow Control (AFC)-Elementen in modularer Hybridbauweise 


The Project was headed by the wind turbine design office Tembra GmbH and was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMU)

The current research project involved the development of a highly innovative rotorblade concept. The research team investigated new blade production methods which involve high degree of automation and possible segmented production. Through the innovative production concepts it is possible to reduce the blade price while increasing the quality of the of the final products. 

Wind tunnel test model of a test wing equipped with active flow control elements.

Furthermore the developed blade design included Active Flow Control in the form of a flexible trailing edge flap in order to achieve aerodynamics load alleviation and partial power regulation. The aerodynamic control elements were developed through aerodynamic and structural simulations and were tested in the large wind tunnel facilities of HFI TU Berlin


An example of a conceptual matrix including structural and aerodynamic concepts for a modula rotorblade with active flow control elements [Source: Tembra GmbH].

SMART BLADE was responsible for the complete aerodynamic development of this new innovative blade concept. The aerodynamic and aeroelastic simulations were performed by the engineering team of SMART BLADE and the wind tunnel tests were performed by SMART BLADE at the wind tunnel of Hermann Föttinger Institute (H.F.I) of TU Berlin. 

Aerodynamic shape of the airfoil developed by SMART BLADE for the current application with the flexible trailing edge flap deflected in various angles.
Segment of the unstructured CFD grid used for the analysis of the flexible trailing edge flap at various deflection angles.

The final aerodynamic shape of the blade was dictated by an optimization procedure that let to an optimal multi-parameter design compromise. Both the structural performance as well as the aerodynamic performance played a crucial role for the final design. However other parameters such as the overall economics, the integration complication and the manufacturing process modification cost played important roles as well.  

A schematic description of a possible rotorblade of the future that includes active flow control elements in the form of flexible trailing edge flaps.