Operators of large wind turbines now have over 10 years of feedback on actual performance of their machines.

Usually made of resin and fiberglass, coatings of the blades are subject to different types of abuse, erosion and fouling over time may cause undesired operation. Thus, the simple clogging of the blade by the crushing of insects in a few days can cause loss of power.

Taking the example of a 2 MW turbine, 100-meter high, Cauneau Francis, professor of fluid mechanics at the CEP – MINES ParisTech describes the following phenomenon:

“We realized fairly recently that the fouling of the leading edges of the blades of these turbines by insects on an installed wind field when it turns on a beautiful summer evening will pick up a considerable number of insects . So one might say that the impact is aesthetic, in a pinch. But, in fact, not at all. We realized that the impact in terms of lost production was the about 20%, 30% or even 40% in the worst case. This means that the economic and industrial issues are significant in controlling the impact of the roughness of the surface condition of these machines. ”

It is therefore necessary to develop tools to appraise the limits of acceptable change for the aging process, and to assess the expected benefits for the proposed remedies: repair coatings, cleaning, installation of appendices. .. This is what the group Observation, Modeling and Decision Processes Center of Energy and Mines ParisTech in collaboration with many players in the industry. This modeling work going on both through the development of virtual wind tunnels, the experiment in situ.

This research partnership takes the form of a research project conducted in close collaboration with industry, and ceases when it acquired the desired feedback with the help of the researcher. The works are then reinvested in industrial property in the partner. The CEP also contributes to the discovery of breakthrough technologies that will develop the new generation of machines.

Leave a Reply