General Description

Often the performance of wind turbine blades needs to be fine tuned in order to meet the level of the predicted design performance. Depending on the specific design and operational constraints different flow control solutions are possible (e.g. Vortex Generators for stall control). A proven solution in the filed of aerodynamic lift enhancement is the passive Gurney Flap. It's small size in combination with its large effect makes it very attractive as a retrofit or initial design solution for wind turbine blades.

We have performed several wind tunnel investigations as well as numerical simulations with state of the art fluid dynamic codes in order to optimize the size, shape and overall performance of wind turbine airfoils equipped with a Gurney Flap. Additionally, we performed parametric investigations and analysis on full blades and wind turbines, to find the right settings for individual designs.

With the collected know-how, we can offer optimized design solutions for custom Gurney Flap implementation on individual wind turbines (retrofit) or wind turbine blade designs.

Pressure field around a NACA 6-series airfoil equipped with a Gurney Flap

Load control

In addition to the passive Gurney flap solution we also researched in active gurney flap elements in order to dynamically manipulate the lift of wind turbine blades. Such a solution would allow significant reduction of the aerodynamic and structural loads (like a Flexible Flap), but with relatively low cost. The reduced cost and the low implementation effort of this solution would make it quite attractive for the wind turbine blade market, but there is still some way to go. Do you join us?

A test wing equipped with an Active Gurney Flap during wind tunnel tests

Publications

The SMART BLADE Research & Development team has published a Scientific Publication on the Active Gurney Flap research. This was presented at the 2011 EWEA conference in Brussels. 

>> Download the Abstract in .pdf

Soon, more publications will follow.