The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Michael Amitay, to continue his effort on the development of smarter blades for wind turbines. He has developed a new technology that aids in reducing the impact of gusty and low winds on wind turbines.
The technology involves the integration of compact synthetic jet actuators into the blades of wind turbines. The jet actuators can create puffs of air to change the air flow around the turbine blade. The actuators minimize the stress on the blades induced by the turbulence and strong winds, making the blades less prone to breakage and more aerodynamic.
These blades include sensors that sense the amount of vibration-induced strain experienced by the blade and sense the air flow around the blade. In addition, the sensors activate the jet actuators automatically in real time.