This summary lists the key finding for the case study conducted by UpWind Solutions regarding the effectiveness of vortex generators, devices that keep airflow attached to a turbine blades, and hence boost a turbine’s output. The url to the complete study is available on their hompage.
UpWind Solutions partnered with SMART BLADE to study the design and installation of Vortex Generators (VGs) and determined the impact on Annual Energy Production (AEP), ROI, and value of installing the technology. The research explains how UpWind Solutions developed new technologies and procedures that resulted in a safe, efficient, and repeatable installation process with an average one day turnaround process per turbine. After analyzing three months of turbine data post VG installations, the following conclusion were drawn:
- The mean AEP increase measured within the three month period is in the range of +2.1 to +2.5%. Considering the good condition of the blades and simple topography of the site this is considered a good performance result.
- The turbine performance without VGs is characterized by significant power scatter. This is most likely the result of considerable aerodynamic stall of a big part or even the entire blade during stormy with gusty wind conditions.
- The overall effectiveness of VGs on this site is quite positive and is able to increase the revenue of the operator/owner with a high ROI.
These elements combine to yield one of the highest ROI Vortex Generator offerings on the market. Considering the aerodynamic performance degradation caused by surface roughness and leading edge erosion, older wind turbines will benefit even more from VGs, thus recovering most if not all the lost energy. The current report presents the results of the UpWind Solutions – SMART BLADE Vortex Generator (VG) installation process on test turbines and the first performance analysis after three months of operation. The installation took place in October 2012 at the site and VGs were installed on the test turbines defined as group A and group B. Nearby turbines defined as group C and group D were used as control turbines for the purposes of the VG performance evaluation.
Upwind Solutions Inc.
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