International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.37, No.14, 1784-1793, 2013
Fluid structure interaction of a morphed wind turbine blade
One serious challenge of energy systems design, wind turbines in particular, is the need to match the system operation to the variable load. This is so because system efficiency drops at off-design load. One strategy to address this challenge for wind turbine blades and obtain a more consistent efficiency over a wide load range, is varying the blade geometry. Predictable morphing of wind turbine blade in reaction to wind load conditions has been introduced recently. The concept, derived from fish locomotion, also has similarities to spoilers and ailerons, known to reduce flow separation and improve performance using passive changes in blade geometry. In this work, we employ a fully coupled technique on CFD and FEM models to introduce continuous morphing to desired and predetermined blade design geometry, the NACA 4412 profile, which is commonly used in wind turbine applications. Then, we assess the aerodynamic behavior of a morphing wind turbine airfoil using a two-dimensional computation. The work is focused on assessing aerodynamic forces based on trailing edge deflection, wind speed, and material elasticity, that is, Young's modulus. The computational results suggest that the morphing blade has superior part-load efficiency over the rigid NACA blade. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.