UpWind will develop the accurate, verified tools and some essential component concepts the industry needs to design and manufacture the new breed of very large wind turbines. UpWind will not develop a specific very large wind turbine demonstration unit as such, nor will it produce a specific design. The following examples illustrate not all but the most important issues constituting new design tools.
UpWind will address the aerodynamic, aero-elastic, structural and material design aspects of rotors. Future wind turbine rotors may have a diameter of over 150 meters. These dimensions are such that the flow in the rotor plane is non-uniform as a result of which the inflow may vary considerably over the rotor blade. Full blade pitch control would no longer be sufficient. That is why UpWind will investigate local flow control along the blades, for instance by varying the local profile shape. Without associated new control strategies (software), new control elements - the hardware side of the issue - are useless. Control strategies will be developed in a separate work package. Also critical analysis of drive train components will be carried out in the search for breakthrough solutions.
Wind turbines are highly non-linear, reactive machines operating under stochastic external conditions. Extreme conditions may have an impact a thousand times more demanding on, for instance, the mechanical loading than average conditions require. Understanding profoundly these external conditions is of the utmost importance in the design of a wind turbine structure with safety margins as small as possible in order to realise maximum cost reductions.
A similar argument applies to the response of the structure to external excitations. In order to make significant progress in this field, more accurate, linearly responding measuring sensors and associated software are needed. Preferably the sensors should remain stable and accurate during a considerable part of the operational lifetime of a wind turbine. UpWind will explore measuring methods and will look more in detail into new remote sensing techniques for measuring wind velocities.