Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
Research article
01 Dec 2016
Research article |  | 01 Dec 2016

Articulated blade tip devices for load alleviation on wind turbines

Carlo L. Bottasso, Alessandro Croce, Federico Gualdoni, Pierluigi Montinari, and Carlo E. D. Riboldi

Abstract. This paper investigates the load alleviation capabilities of an articulated tip device, where the outermost portion of the blade can rotate with respect to the rest of the blade. Passive, semi-passive and active solutions are developed for the tip rotation. In the passive and semi-passive configurations tip pitching is mainly driven by aerodynamic loads, while for the active case the rotation is obtained with an actuator commanded by a feedback control law. Each configuration is analyzed and tested using a high-fidelity aeroservoelastic simulation environment, by considering standard operative conditions as well as fault situations. The potential benefits of the proposed blade tip concepts are discussed in terms of performance and robustness.

Short summary
The paper discusses different concepts for reducing loads on wind turbines using movable blade tips. Passive and semi-passive tip solutions move freely in response to air load fluctuations, while in the active case an actuator drives the tip motion in response to load measurements. The various solutions are compared with a standard blade and with each other in terms of their ability to reduce both fatigue and extreme loads.
Final-revised paper