The SMART rotor consisted of three 9-meter blades with trailing edge flaps spanning 20% of each blade. The photo inset is a closer look at the flaps on one blade.
Actively controlling the aerodynamic loads on a wind-turbine rotor could benefit the entire turbine system significantly. The Structural and Mechanical Adaptive Rotor Technology (SMART) project was conducted to
- test the control capability of a rotor with aerodynamic actuators,
- evaluate the accuracy of simulation tools, and
- identify the requirements and challenges of producing a rotor with integrated load control.
Analysis of flap actuator current reveals aerodynamic loading and frequency dependence of motor dynamics.
Two SMART Rotor final project reports have been written that describe the design and field test of the rotor hardware (SAND2014-0681) and define the post-processing and analysis steps taken to understand the rotor performance (SAND2014-0712).
The left-hand figure highlights one of the analysis results, in which aerodynamic loading of the trailing edge flaps was observed in actuator current measurements. Characterizing the aerodynamic response and frequency dependence of the actuator dynamics is important for the success of closed-loop active rotor control.