The aim of designing wind turbine blades is to improve the power capture ability. Since rotor control technology is currently limited to controlling rotational speed and blade pitch, an increasing concern has been given to morphing blades. In this paper, a simplified morphing blade is introduced, which has a linear twist distribution along the span and a shape that can be controlled by adjusting the twist of the blade's root and tip. To evaluate the performance of wind turbine blades, a numerical code based on the blade element momentum theory is developed and validated. The blade of the NREL Phase VI wind turbine is taken as a reference blade and has a fixed pitch. The optimization problems associated with the control of the morphing blade and a blade with pitch control are formulated. The optimal results show that the morphing blade gives better results than the blade with pitch control in terms of produced power. Under the assumption that at a given site, the annual average wind speed is known and the wind speed follows a Rayleigh distribution, the annual energy production of wind turbines was evaluated for three types of blade, namely, morphing blade, blade with pitch control and fixed pitch blade. For an annual average wind speed varying between 5 m/s and 15 m/s, it turns out that the annual energy production of the wind turbine containing morphing blades is 24.5% to 69.7% higher than the annual energy production of the wind turbine containing pitch fixed blades. Likewise, the annual energy production of the wind turbine containing blades with pitch control is 22.7% to 66.9% higher than the annual energy production of the wind turbine containing pitch fixed blades.
A Simplified Morphing Blade for Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 12, 2012; final manuscript received October 28, 2013; published online November 26, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.
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Wang, W., Caro, S., Bennis, F., and Salinas Mejia, O. R. (November 26, 2013). "A Simplified Morphing Blade for Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. February 2014; 136(1): 011018. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4025970
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