Research Papers

A Simplified Morphing Blade for Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
Weijun Wang

e-mail: Weijun.Wang@irccyn.ec-nantes.fr

Stéphane Caro

e-mail: Stephane.Caro@irccyn.ec-nantes.fr

Fouad Bennis

e-mail: fouad.bennis@irccyn.ec-nantes.fr
Institut de Recherche en Communications,
et Cybernétique de Nantes,
1 rue de la Noë,
Nantes 44321, France

Oscar Roberto Salinas Mejia

Instituto Tecnologico y,
de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey,
Chihuahua, Ch., Mexico
e-mail: oscar_roberto_salinas@hotmail.com

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.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(1), 011018 (Nov 26, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1199; doi: 10.1115/1.4025970 History: Received August 12, 2012; Revised October 28, 2013

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.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Lobitz, D., Veers, P., and Migliore, P. G., 1996, “Enhanced Performance of HAWTs Using Adaptive Blades,” 15th ASME Wind Energy Symposium, Houston, TX, January 28-February 2, pp. 41–45.
Beyene, A., and Peffley, J., 2007, “A Morphing Blade for Wave and Wind Energy Conversion,” OCEANS 2007—Europe, Aberdeen, UK, June 18–24, pp. 1–6. [CrossRef]
Daynes, S., and Weaver, P. M., 2011, “A Morphing Wind Turbine Blade Control Surface,” ASME 2011 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Scottsdale, AZ, September 18–21, ASME Paper No. SMASIS2011-4961, pp. 531–541. [CrossRef]
Barlas, T., 2010, “Review of State of the Art in Smart Rotor Control Research for Wind Turbines,” Prog. Aerospace Sci., 46(1), pp. 1–27. [CrossRef]
Duran, S., 2005, “Computer Aided Design of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Blades,” Master's thesis, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
Lanzafame, R., 2007, “Fluid Dynamics Wind Turbine Design: Critical Analysis, Optimization and Application of BEM Theory,” Renewable Energy, 32(14), pp. 2291–2305. [CrossRef]
Kulunk, E., and Yilmaz, N., 2009, “HAWT Rotor Design and Performance Analysis,” ASME 3rd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, San Francisco, CA, July 19–23, ASME Paper No. ES2009-90441, pp. 1019–1029. [CrossRef]
Tenguria, N., Mittal, N. D., and Ahmed, S., 2010, “Investigation of Blade Performance of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Based on Blade Element Momentum Theory (BEMT) Using NACA Airfoils,” Int. J. Comput. Eng. Sci., 2(12), pp. 25–35, available at: http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijest/article/view/64565/52346
Dai, J., Hu, Y., Liu, D., and Long, X., 2011, “Aerodynamic Loads Calculation and Analysis for Large Scale Wind Turbine Based on Combining BEM Modified Theory With Dynamic Stall Model,” Renewable Energy, 36(3), pp. 1095–1104. [CrossRef]
Hand, M. M., Simms, D. A., Fingersh, L., Jager, D., Cotrell, J., Schreck, S., and Larwood, S., 2001, “Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment Phase V: Test Configuration and Available Data Campaigns,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Technical Report NREL/TP-500-29491.
Lanzafame, R., and Messina, M., 2010, “Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Working at Maximum Power Coefficient Continuously,” Renewable Energy, 35(1), pp. 301–306. [CrossRef]
Manwell, J. F., McGowan, J., and Rogers, A., 2002, “Wind Energy Explained Theory, Design and Application,” Wind Energy Explained Theory, Design and Application Explained Theory, Design and Application, Wiley-Blackwell, Chickester, UK, pp. 83–139.
Buhl, M. L., 2005, “A New Empirical Relationship Between Thrust Coefficient and Induction Factor for the Turbulent Windmill State,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Technical Report NREL/TP-500-36834.
Lanzafame, R., and Messina, M., 2009, “Design and Performance of a Double-Pitch Wind Turbine With Non-Twisted Blades,” Renewable Energy, 34(5), pp. 1413–1420. [CrossRef]
Ramsay, R. R., Hoffmann, M., and Gregorek, G., 1999, “Effects of Grit Roughness and Pitch Oscillations on the S809 Airfoil: Airfoil Performance Report, Revised (12/99),” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Technical Report NREL/TP-442-7817.
Ramsay, R., Janiszewska, J., and Gregorek, G., 1996, “Wind Tunnel Testing of Three S809 Aileron Configurations for Use on Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, Airfoil Performance Report July 1996.
Merabet, A., Thongam, J., and Gu, J., 2011, “Torque and Pitch Angle Control for Variable Speed Wind Turbines in All Operating Regimes” 10th International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering (EEEIC), Rome, May 8–11. [CrossRef]
da Rosa, A. V., 2009, Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Processes, Academic Press, Waltham, MA, pp. 723–797.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of momentum theory for wind turbines

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Velocities and forces on a blade element

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Calculation flowchart for induction factors

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

CD and CL as a function of α for S809 airfoil

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Twist and chord distributions of Phase VI WT blades

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Comparison between simulated and experimental results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Produced power as a function of wind speed

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Schematic of a blade with pitch control

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Schematic of a morphing blade with active control

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Schematic of a simplified morphing blade

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Section of a conventional blade showing upper and lower shells and webs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Optimal performance of the MB and BPC at different wind speeds

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Twist angle as a function of the blade radius for v = 5 m/s, v = 10 m/s, and v = 15 m/s

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Rayleigh distributions of the wind speed for three average wind speeds: v¯ = 5 m/s,v¯ = 10 m/s, and v¯ = 15 m/s

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

AEP of the wind turbines as a function of the average wind speed



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In