Joseph McGuire, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Actuator Analysis and Design for Variable Twist Wind Turbines

Abstract: Renewable energy is playing more and more important role for fulfilling human energy needs because of the fast depletion of traditional non-renewable energy sources such as crude oil and natural gas. Wind energy is a renewable energy that is generated by wind turbines. It is widely available on earth and highly friendly to environment. Improving on the current designs of wind turbines has the potential to significantly increase the amount of electrical energy that is extracted from wind turbines. An emerging blade design for wind turbines is to actively twist the blade. Wind turbines with actively twisted blades improve their energy conversion efficiency.

To create the dynamic twist in the wind turbine blade, a rotary actuator is used to adjust the angle at various points along the twist axis. The actuator has to withstand the wind force and maintain the twist angle at each blade section. The actuator is also required not to consume too much power. It is challenging to design wind turbines with actively twisted blade. In this thesis, a rotary actuator design approach will be presented. The introduced actuator design approach aims at improving the energy conversion efficiency for wind turbines with actively twisted blades and consuming less power. A wind turbine with actively twisted blade will be designed. Its energy conversion efficiency will be compared with that with fixed blade.

Presentation Author(s):
Joseph McGuire*

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