Traditionally, blade add-ons have been associated with added loads and unwanted noise. Technology has come a long way, however, and Power Curve VGs are no exception.

Stabilizing loads

Loads are a concern for any turbine operator, and it can be tempting to conclude that more power production must mean higher loads. This is not always the case, however, as Power Curve vortex generators can in fact have a positive effect on loads.

On both the inner and the outer part of the blade, airflow separation imposes additional loads on a turbine that are dynamic in nature. In other words, separated airflow along the trailing edge causes lift and drag forces to fluctuate, which generates uneven and shifting loads that wear on the structure.

By controlling airflow separation with our vortex generators, the airflow can be stabilized, potentially mitigating these dynamic loads.

On the outer part of the blade, Power Curve VGs restore the airflow to its original stable state, as lost energy production is reinstalled. As such, load patterns are simply returned very close to how the turbine was originally designed and intended to operate.

On the inner part, Power Curve VGs improve airflow beyond the original design, which is a widely used concept in the wind industry. The increase in AEP and loads from this region is 1-2%. Most major OEMs equip all new turbine blades with VGs near the blade root to improve performance at no real load-related risk.

Reducing noise

Noise produced by wind turbines is a much disputed topic on a societal level. The nature of the noise can be either mechanical, i.e. from components such as the gearbox, or aerodynamic. Aerodynamic noise is generated by the air passing across the blades. A blade in ideal condition generates minimal noise since the airflow is attached to the blade surface with little to no stall turbulence.

Power Curve vortex generators cause neither mechanical nor aerodynamic noise to be generated. Instead, our VGs help eliminate low-frequency aerodynamic separation noise that otherwise comes with stall turbulence.