This “circulation control” aerodynamic technology could allow the wind turbines to produce significantly more power than current devices at the same wind speed.
Research aimed at adapting circulation control technology to wind turbine blades will be conducted by a California company, PAX Streamline, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology. The two-year project, which will lead to construction of a demonstration pneumatic wind turbine, will be supported by a $3 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy – the federal energy research and development organization also known as ARPA-E.
“Our goal will be to make generation of electricity from wind turbines less expensive by eliminating the need for the complex blade shapes and mechanical control systems used in current turbines,” said Robert J. Englar, principal research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). “Because these new blades would operate effectively at lower wind speeds, we could potentially open up new geographic areas to wind turbine use. Together, these advances could significantly expand the generation of electricity from wind power in the United States.”
Circulation control techniques use compressed air blown from slots on the trailing edges of wings or hollow blades to change the aerodynamic properties of those wings or blades. In aircraft, circulation control wings improve lift, allowing aircraft to fly at much lower speeds – and take off and land in much shorter distances. In helicopter rotor blades, the technique – also known as the “circulation control rotor” – both simplifies the rotor and its control system and produces more lift.
The ARPA-E project will apply the technique to controlling the aerodynamic properties of wind turbine blades, which now must be made in complicated shapes and controlled by complex control mechanisms to extract optimal power from the wind.
“The speed at which these turbines would begin to operate will be much lower than with existing blades,” said Englar. “Places that wind maps have previously indicated would not be suitable locations for wind turbines may now be useful. The blown technology should also allow safe operation at higher wind speeds and in wind gusts that would cause existing turbines to be shut down to prevent damage. ”
Because they would produce more aerodynamic force, torque and power than comparable blades, these blown structures being developed by Georgia Tech and PAX could also allow a reduction in the size of the wind turbines.
“If you need a specific amount of wind force and torque generated by the wind turbine to generate electricity, we could get that force and torque from a smaller blade area because we’d have more powerful lifting surfaces,” Englar explained.
A major question awaiting study is how much energy will be required to produce the compressed air the blown blades need to operate. Preliminary studies done by Professor Lakshmi Sankar in Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering suggest that wind turbines with the blown blades could produce 30 to 40 percent more power than conventional turbines at the same wind speed – even when the energy required to produce the compressed air is subtracted from the total energy production.
The new turbine blades will be developed at GTRI’s low-speed wind tunnel research facility located in Cobb County, north of Atlanta.
Officials of PAX Streamline see the circulation control technology as key to the development of a new generation of turbines that could significantly lower the cost of producing electricity from the wind.
“This is a significant validation of our established turbine R&D,” said PAX CEO John Webley. “With this grant, we can rapidly accelerate our research program and, within the next two years, deploy a prototype wind turbine which demonstrates our game-changing technology.”
John Toon | Newswise Science News
Scientists print sensors on gummi candy: creating microelectrode arrays on soft materials
21.06.2018 | Technische Universität München
Electron sandwich doubles thermoelectric performance
20.06.2018 | Hokkaido University
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences