Micro-electro-mechanical (MEM) translational tabs are introduced for active load control on aerodynamic surfaces such as wind turbine rotor blades. Microtabs are mounted near the trailing edge of rotor blades, deploy approximately normal to the surface, and have a maximum deployment height on the order of the boundary-layer thickness. Deployment of the tab effectively changes the sectional chamber of the rotor blade, thereby changing its aerodynamic characteristics. A tab with tab height to blade section chord ratio, of 0.01 causes an increase in the section lift coefficient, of approximately 0.3, with minimal drag penalty. This paper presents a proof of concept microtab design and the multi-disciplinary techniques used to fabricate and test the tabs. Computational and experimental wind tunnel results for a representative airfoil using fixed as well as remotely actuated tabs are compared. Although the specifics of load control limitations, including actuation and response times will require further research, the results presented demonstrate the significant potential for using microtabs for active load control.
Active Load Control for Airfoils using Microtabs
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the ASME Solar Energy Division, December 2000; final revision, July 2001. Associate Editor: D. Berg.
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Nakafuji, D. T. Y., van Dam, C. P., Smith, R. L., and Collins, S. D. (July 1, 2001). "Active Load Control for Airfoils using Microtabs ." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. November 2001; 123(4): 282–289. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1410110
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