Engineering

Smart rotor blades with flaps and movable edges

Is this still a rotor or already a wing? German researchers develop smart rotor blades which have retractable folding and movable trailing edges such as aircraft wings. Engineered huge plants want to get the wind top handle.

If blades become larger and larger, also strains and especially the peak rise sharply. Therefore, German researchers working already on techniques to control these forces. Smart blade call them the new sheet from the research laboratories.

Its production lays the glass fibers that give the resistance curing resin ensures the resistance. The rotor blade can rotate something in high winds, so that the wind has less attack surface. The rotation is passive. She is not consciously controlled, but is a reaction to the strength of the wind.

Peak loads can be avoided

The up to 85 meters long rotor blades. From United States upcoming 200 metres plates are already planned, should lie thanks to built-in joints in the wind. Differently charged depending on the position. Solar wind speed is usually significantly lower than in the upper pane. There are also loads by gusts. Sometimes, the leaves from the wind must be turned in order to avoid damage. The warp-capable smart blades should peak avoid.

Smart rotor blades with flaps and movable edges
Since wind turbines are getting bigger, also the material load increases. The more elastic materials are able to rotate the rotor blades a little in the wind. Engineers with folding and movable edges are also working.

But the Research Association wind energy cooperate with scientists of the German Centre for Aeronautics and space (DLR) Fraunhofer Institute for wind energy and energy system technology Northwest into (FhG-IWES) Bremerhaven and ForWind, the Center for wind energy research of the universities of Oldenburg, Hanover and Bremen, has still more ideas to make adaptive rotor blades.

Flaps for rotor blades

Solutions are borrowed from the aviation industry. Increase the surfaces of the airplane wing during takeoff and landing to change lift, also rotor blades should be versatile. There are flaps that extended at low wind speeds, to increase the attack surface for the wind on the trailing edges. He’s doing too colorful, they be retracted again. Movable trailing edges, sensor-controlled bend have the same effect.

Smart rotor blades with flaps movable edges
Thanks to adjustable valves, new rotor blades has light winds and can offer more attack surface and thus increasing yield. The researchers are also developing aerodynamically optimized and lighter designs of wind turbines, which at the same time has a longer life span.

Also on the slats on front edge can be rotated. It is a bond with the aircraft manufacturers. Retractable surfaces complement the flaps are at the leading edge of the aircraft wings. You change the aerodynamics, so that there is a disastrous stall even during slow flight. Exactly such areas pointing interest os scientists of the Research Association wind power miss on rotor blades.

Now the wings will be built with adjustable blades

Rotors blades will be “significantly changed”, says Claudio Balzani from the Institute of wind energy systems at the University of Hanover. The Federal Ministry of economy and energy has sponsored the project, which will expire on February 29, with 12 million euros. Now researchers are hoping that can build the theoretically designed wings and test in practice.