ADVENTUS: Advanced Small Wind Turbines

The ADVENTUS project is implemented under the framework of the «Greece-Germany R&T Bilateral Collaboration» Action which is co-funded by EPAnEK (European Regional Development Fund, European Union) and national funds, through the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (CSRI).

The project is implemented through the cooperation between the research entities:

  • Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics &Turbomachinery (LFMT), Aristotle University Thessaloniki (AUTH)– Greece
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) Institute of Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics (TFD), ForWind – Center for Wind Energy Research – Germany

And the private sector small business-entities:

  • PSW Energiesysteme GmbH (PSW)Germany

In the  ADVENTUS project, the fundamental scientific and technologic foundations for implementation on small horizontal wind turbines will be developed, aiming to increase annual energy production and decrease dynamic structural loading compared to corresponding state-of-the-art designs.

Small wind turbines function in flow fields are characterized by relatively low velocity, instability and intense turbulence. Optimizing the design of the rotor blades of the wind turbine can lead to higher power coefficients at low wind velocities, lower cut-in velocities and decreased torque fluctuations. To achieve such an advanced design of small wind turbines, the ADVENTUS project will entail a thorough investigation and optimization of the aerodynamic characteristics of small wind turbines at low Reynolds numbers, as well as at 3D flow and dynamic flow separation conditions. Concurrently, reduced order models will be developed, which will be capable of predicting efficiently and precisely, through computational methods, the performance of small wind turbines as a function of their operational and design conditions.

Using a small wind turbine with a power rating of 10KW as a reference baseline, the ADVENTUS project will entail an optimization of the 3D design of the blades, as well as the incorporation of modifications at the root and the tip of the blade, along with the incorporation of passive (winglets, vortex generators, tubercles) and innovative active (plasma actuators) flow control methods, presented in figures 1 and 2. Under the framework of the project, θα αναγνωριστούν the optimal combinations of methods used will be identified, according to their aerodynamic and aeroelastic characteristics, as well as the durability and manufacturability of the design. To increase design choices, the ability to incorporate Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) into the design and manufacture of small wind turbines will be thoroughly investigated.

a) Vortex Generators (VG)

b) Tubercles (TBR)

c) Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuator

d) Winglet

Figure 1. Optimization of aerodynamic performance of wind turbine blades using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

a) Prototype part of a wind turbine blade, made of composite materials. Manufacture: CFT technologies-Design: TFD, PSW

b) Prototype part of a wind turbine blade made of composite materials, incorporating tubercles. Design: LFMT(AUTH)- Manufacture: CFT technologies

c) Prototype part of a wind turbine blade winglet made of composite materials. Design: LFMT(AUTH)- Manufacture: CFT technologies

Figure 2.  Construction of prototype wind turbine blade specimens for the optimization of the wind turbine’s aerodynamic performance.

The «Greece-Germany R&T Bilateral Collaboration» Action will help with the exchange of expertise and information between the two participating research institutions, LFMT και TFD, and the utilization thereof by the private sector institutions, CFT και PSW.

The efficiency of the new computational methods developed and the advanced design technologies for the wind turbine blades, will be demonstrated through high-precision computational methods, experimental measurements in wind tunnels and field tests.

The results of ADVENTUS will improve the performance, profitability and dependability of small wind turbines for electric energy production and distribution, both in cases of connection with the main electric energy network as well as in cases of non-connected users (e.g. remote areas or small islands out of the network). Consequently, for the small business entities participating in the ADVENTUS project, CFT and PSW, the market perspectives will improve and the domestic markets will be open for mutual involvement, thus supporting their development at an international level.

At a scientific level, the ADVENTUS project will contribute to strengthening the already existent collaboration between the academic institutions LFMT and TFD. The introduction of the new computational methods developed and advanced blade design to the scientific community, through international scientific publications, will sharpen the scientific profile of the institutions and allow other researchers and engineer to contribute to scientific and technologic progress. Furthermore, the involvement of PhD candidates and MSc students to the ADVENTUS project, will offer a significant contribution to their education and provide the scientific community and industry with highly educated new talent and young engineers to the field of small wind turbines.

The essential research results of the ADVENTUS project are:

  • The development of improved, highly accurate, design models, specifically developed for the operational conditions of small wind turbines (improved methods for Blade Element Moment and CFD models).
  • Incorporation of advanced technologic parameters (e.g. winglets, tubercles, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer blades) to the design and manufacture of small wind turbines.
  • Design and incorporation of advanced and optimized blades to small wind turbines which offer increased efficiency during their operation.

The fundamental advantages of the ADVENTUS project are:

  • Increased annual energy production and performance of small wind turbines.
  • Increased financial results and profit that small wind turbines offer to the user.
  • Reduced loading and wear during the operation of small wind turbines.
  • Reduced maintenance and blade replacement cost for small wind turbines and increased operational dependability.
  • Further acclimatization of communities with wind power and increased penetration of renewable energy sources.

Potential users of the advanced small wind turbines of the ADVENTUS project are:

  • Private entities (e.g. agricultural units, hotels, small companies and factories with increased energy consumption)
  • Public institutions (school complexes, university units, research institutes, municipal services, regional government units.)

The «Greece-Germany R&T Bilateral Collaboration» Action,  through which this project is implemented, is co-funded by EPAnEK (European Regional Development Fund, European Union) and national funds, through the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (CSRI).