Active flow control and load mitigation concepts developed for traditional aeronautical applications have potential to decrease torque, bending and fatigue loads on wind turbine blades and to help increase turbine life. Much of the early work in flow control focused on steady aerodynamic benefits. More recent technologies have focused on unsteady flow control techniques which require a deeper understanding of the underlying flow physics as well as sensors to record the various time-dependent aerodynamic phenomena and fast actuators for control. This paper identifies some developmental control concepts for load mitigation along with a new translational microfabricated tab concept available for active flow and load control on lifting surfaces and explores their applicability for wind turbine rotor blades. Specifically, this paper focuses on experimental results based on an innovative microtab approach for unsteady, active load control. Previous papers on this effort by Yen et al. focused on the multi-disciplinary design methodology and the significant lift enhancement achieved using these micro-scale devices. The current research extends the effort to include dynamic results with discontinuous tab effects, effects on drag, and lower (pressure side) and upper surface (suction side) tab deployment effects for the prototype airfoil as well as for the S809, a representative wind turbine airfoil. Results show that the microtab concept can provide macro-scale load changes and is capable of offering active control of lift and drag forces for load alleviation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.