Submitted to: Windpower
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Trailing edge flaps were applied to the blades of a 10 kW wind turbine used for water pumping to try to improve the performance and decrease the structural fatigue on the wind turbine. Most small wind turbines (10 kW and below) use furling (rotor turns out of wind similar to a mechanical windmill) to protect the wind turbine from overspeed during high winds. Some small wind turbines, however, do not furl soon enough to keep the win turbine from being offline part of the time in moderately high wind speeds (10 - 16 m/s). As a result, the load is disconnected and no water is pumped at moderately high wind speeds. When the turbine is offline, the frequency increases rapidly often causing excessive vibration of the wind turbine and tower components. The furling wind speed could possibly be decreased by increasing the offset between the tower centerline but would be a major and potentially expensive retrofit. Trailing edge flaps (TEF) were used a quick inexpensive method to try to reduce the furling wind speed and increase the on time by reducing the rotor RPM. One TEF configuration improved the water pumping performance at moderately high wind speeds, but degraded the pumping performance at low wind speeds which resulted in little change in daily water volume. The other TEF configuration differed very little from the no flap configuration. Both TEF configurations however, reduced the rotor RPM in high wind conditions. The TEF, did not reduce the rotor RPM by lowering the furling wind speed as hoped, but apparently did so by increasing the drag which also reduced the volume of water pumped at the lower wind speeds.