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Wind Energy Seminar Series

March 12, 2010

Plasma Actuators for Enhanced Wind Turbine Performance

Presentation will focus on a case study analysis performed on the use of Single Dielectric Barrier Discharge (SDBD) plasma actuators to enhance the energy capture of a 1.5 mega watts wind turbine. The object was to reduce the chord of the standard blade by 20 [percent for mass savings on the inboard portion of the rotor without a loss in performance. The reduced mass would then be added to increase the blade length. The motivation for this investigation comes from the fact that the rotor distribution mass with an approach proposed to increase the swept area of a wind turbine without increasing the rotor blade weight. Numerical investigations were conducted to investigate the use of plasma flow control in this rotor design concept. Active flow control, in the form of plasma actuator, was incorporated into the truncated rotor sections to recover the lost aerodynamic performance. Three reduced chord cases were examined through numerical flow simulations.

The cast study is just the first step towards the overall objective of applying a rigorous decision-based design optimization approach to the rotor geometry with active flow control, and to the total wind energy system in general.

Corke is the founding director of the Institute for Flow Physics and Control (FlowPAC), and the director of the Hessert Laboratory for Aerospace Research. He is internationally recognized for his research in the areas of fluid instabilities and transition to turbulence, control of turbulent boundary layers, flow visualization techniques and flow control.

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