Improvement of aerodynamic conditions (vehicles and wind power plants)

TOpWind

© Photo: Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash
The goal of TOpWind: optimization of wind harvesting capability of wind turbines by means of innovative flow control concepts.

The main goal of the collaborative project TOpWind is the development of new approaches, such as the integration of active elements, which are able to influence the flow and thus, affect the aerodynamics on rotor blades of wind turbines. In this context, the project intends to develop concepts for active flow control around the rotor blade on the basis of novel structure-integrated fluidic actuators to optimize the aerodynamic behavior. In order to develop such actuators and to validate their application on rotor blades of wind turbines, Fraunhofer participates with four institutes in the joint project TOpWind. Fraunhofer covers all areas of research which includes numerical investigation, the development of actuators and systems and finally the test of all those components. In addition, Fraunhofer manages and coordinates the overall project TOpWind. As an institute in the field of smart system integration, Fraunhofer ENAS has built up a solid expertise in the field of actuators for active flow control in projects such as CleanSky and AFloNext. In TOpWind, Fraunhofer ENAS develops flow control actuators for wind tunnel and robustness tests. Currently, first prototypes are available, which will be optimized for robustness and prepared for planned tests in the next steps of the project. The integration of those actuators in lightweight structures is a central idea in the selection of materials, as well as the implementation of a suitable actuator design.