Está en la página 1de 10

Proving the Value

of Vortex Generators

UpWind Solutions, Inc.


4863 Shawline Street, Suite A
San Diego, CA 92111, USA
+1 866.927.3142

Smart Blade GmbH


Zuppinger Strasse 14
88213 Ravensburg, Germany
+49 751.97714445

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

Table of Contents
Summary............................................................................................................................................. 3
Vortex Generator Technology.........................................................................................................3
Actual AEP Increase from VG Installation............................................................................................ 4
VG ROI Analysis................................................................................................................................... 5
Importance of Accurate Data Analysis ................................................................................................ 6
Synchronized Data Acquisition.......................................................................................................6
Raw Data Filtering...........................................................................................................................7
Data Normalization.........................................................................................................................7
Power Curves (CTRL WTG & VG WTG)............................................................................................7
Annual Production Estimation........................................................................................................7
Improving Installation Process............................................................................................................ 8
Reduced Turbine Downtime...........................................................................................................8
Repeatability...................................................................................................................................8
Improving VG Lifetime......................................................................................................................... 9
Durability........................................................................................................................................9
Adhesives........................................................................................................................................9

Share this Ebook.


Page 2

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

Summary
Vortex Generators (VGs) have been a hot topic over the past several years in the wind industry and
after extensive testing, fine tuning, and more testing, solid results are finally in. The results prove
the importance of durable materials, reliable installation processes, customized VG placement,
suitable wind regime on the site, and meticulous data analysis to accurately project and measure
results. It is nearly impossible to precisely forecast wind turbine performance with VGs but based
on current and historical data, and analysis based on a comprehensive methodology, we can
achieve a confident forecast that can be used to generate a projected ROI for the owner.1
After more than a year of experience and data from approximately 22,000 individual installations,
what have we learned? We know how to accurately measure and project the AEP increase, which
for the site data examined in this case resulted in a 2.2% site wide improvement.

1. Actual AEP increase from VG


installation
2. VG ROI analysis
3. Importance of accurate data analysis
4. Improving installation process
5. Improving VG lifetime

Site AEP increase due to VGs


Annual Energy Production
Increase [%]

In this eBook, we review five lessons learned


that affect the customer and help improve
the VG solution:

Site Average: 2.2%

Vortex Generator Technology


UpWind Solutions partnered with SMART BLADE, the wind industry aerodynamics experts, and
3M to deliver the best-in-class Vortex Generator solution for wind turbine rotor blades. The
expertise of the three organizations combined created a new VG solution that is aerodynamically
tested to provide the highest possible increase in AEP, with proven durability, and a standardized
installation process that reduces installation costs and turbine downtime. The benefit to the
customer is improved power production at low and mid wind speeds when the turbines are not
producing at full capacity.
The flow visualization process SMART BLADE has developed is highly customized to the blade type.
This allows for the recapturing of the maximum amount of power production otherwise lost to
aerodynamic stall in the root region of the blade. Secondly, the materials (plastics and adhesives)
used are designed for the harsh, UV rich environment of a high speed wind turbine blade.
1 Depending on the wealth of historical data, data resolution, condition of sensors and other variables, the performance estimation and
therefore the ROI model accuracy does vary.

Share this Ebook.


Page 3

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

The key to the UpWind Solutions/SMART BLADE/3M VG solution is a deep analysis of the
blade aerodynamics in actual field conditions. Armed with a highly accurate map of the blade
aerodynamics, a VG solution is designed specifically for that unique blade design. Unlike most
other VGs available, the UpWind/SMART BLADE/3M VG Solution has the flexibility to place each
individual VG in exactly the right location and orientation resulting in maximum AEP gains.

Actual AEP Increase from VG Installation


In the pilot VG case study, we made the argument that a typical wind farm in the U.S. theoretically
could realize a 2-3% increase in AEP. The projection was in the correct range but based on three
months of data from a small group of turbines. The new case study analyzed 85 turbines and 2 METMasts and utilized data pre and post VG installation to accurately measure performance
improvements. The analysis compared control turbines (CTRL WTG) against turbines with VGs
installed (VG WTG). The data was grouped together in wind speed bins of 0.5 m/s increments in order
to accurately measure how VGs affect AEP. Taking the median of the power shift per bin as the group
representative, it can be seen that the VG turbines experience a power difference up to +12.2% for
lower wind speeds, which gradually declines down to approximately +1% for higher wind speeds.

Estimated AEP increase based on wind speed bins

Estimated Bin AEP Increase

12
10
8
6
4
2
0

12.2

8.7

7.5

4.5

3.5-4.0 4.0-4.5 4.5-5.0 5.0-5.5

4.5

2.7

1.7

1.7

2.3

5.5-6.0

6.0-6.5

6.5-7.0

7.0-7.5

7.5-8.0

1.5

1.5

8.0-8.5 8.5-9.0

1.6

1.1

9.0-9.5 9.5-10.0

Wind Speed [m/s]


The AEP of each turbine is based on the same wind distribution of the combined PRE and POST VGI
period. As the final result, the production enhancement due to VGs for the entire wind farm is 2.2%.

Share this Ebook.


Page 4

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

VG ROI Analysis
By using the measured 2.2% AEP increase from this specific site's data analysis and applying it to
a standard size wind farm with 60 GE 1.5MW turbines, we can project when the asset owner will
realize a positive ROI. An average 40% capacity factor (actual energy produced) and price of $50/
MWh were used to determine that a VG installation would pay itself off in 1.77 years.

ROI for 60 GE 1.5 SLE Turbine Site


Actual WTG
production
(39% CF*)
5,124
MWh/Year

VG AEP
Increase

Example
VG Install Cost
$10,000

2.20%

MWh
Increase

60 WTG
windfarm

60

112

Average
price per MWh

Site-wide
VG install

$600,000

$50

Revenue per
turbine/year

Revenue
per year

$338,223

$5,637

Positive
ROI

1.77
Years

*CF: Capacity Factor based on UpWind averages on 5 GE 1.5 SLE wind farms over 12 months.

PROJECT YOUR

AEP INCREASE WITH VGs

Calculate
Calculate
AEP
NOW

Share this Ebook.


Page 5

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

Importance of Accurate
Data Analysis
VG AEP Delta Model

In order to accurately estimate an increase


in AEP or measure the effects on AEP postinstallation, two measurement campaigns
have to be completed. Both campaigns are
identical except that in the second the WTG
is equipped with VGs. The workflow of the
measurement campaign has several stages
to ensure data integrity (accuracy, reliability,
validity) and that one is comparing apples
to apples when attributing AEP effects to VG
performance.

CNTRL WTG

MET-MAST

VG WTG

Data Aquisition
1-10 second data intervals

Data Validation
Valid wind sector?
Turbine in normal power generation mode?

Synchronized Data Acquisition


Data provided must meet certain
requirements in order to be included in the
performance evaluation. Data that does not
meet the requirements is rejected.

False

True

Data Normalization
Computation of air density
Normalization of nacelle anemometer wind speeds

Primary data requirements


Measured generator power
Measured nacelle anemometer wind
speed
Unique date stamp of measured values
Turbine state flag indicating if turbine
was in normal operation mode
Turbine curtailment flag indicating if
turbine was in curtailed operation mode
All sensor data must be at least 1-10
second averaged values

False

True

Outlier Detection &


Application of Data Filters
Power Curve Creation

Power Curve Creation

(CTRL WTG)

(VG WTG)

AEP Estimation

AEP Estimation

(CTRL WTG)

(VG WTG)

Determination of AEP Delta


Between CTRL WTG & VG WTG

Share this Ebook.


Page 6

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

Raw Data Filtering


In order to improve the data quality, the following filters are applied to the raw data.
Outlier Detection & Application of Date Filters
Extreme outliers and inconsistent sensor measurements are identified and removed from the
analysis. The removal of such data regions is accomplished by setting up filters that only remove
the identified regions during the data processing.
Visual outlier dectection
1000

Ambient Pressure [mbar]

980
960

Invalid pressure data

940

Invalid sensor data

920
900
880
860
840
820
01-Jan-11

01-Mar-11

01-May-11

01-Jul-11

01-Sep-11

Data Normalization
The wind speed was normalized using the meteorological data from MET tower.

Power Curves (CTRL WTG & VG WTG)


Power curves are created based on the method of bins. Normalized data sets of Power and Wind
Speed are sorted in 0.5 m/s bins. Note that for the creation of the power curves the normalized
wind speed data resulting from nacelle anemometry is used. The resulting power curves are used
to compare the difference between two power curves.

Annual Production Estimation


The turbine specific annual production was computed using the power curves together with the
wind speed distribution of a MET-Mast at the site. The annual production was computed each for
the PRE VGI period and the POST VGI period. The wind speed distribution which was used for both
production estimations is based on the whole available time period (PRE and POST VGI period) in
order to reflect the long term site characteristics.

Share this Ebook.


Page 7

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

The AEP of the WTG is estimated by application of the power curve to the measured wind speed
probability distribution of the site.

[AEP = T O(U)f(U)dU]
where P(U) is the Power Curve, f(U) is the probability density function of the wind speed and T is
the number of hours that the turbine is available within a year.

Improving Installation Process


The lesson learned from installing 22,000 VGs across multiple turbine technology platforms
is that a standardized and repeatable installation process directly correlates with the average
WTG downtime. The UpWind team has improved the installation process by halving the turbine
downtime per WTG and using a highly repeatable process to ensure consistent quality.

Reduced Turbine Downtime


After a year's worth of field experience, the UpWind team repeatedly completed an average VG
installation for one turbine in a single day. Some platforms allow for the installation of VGs on 3
rotor sets every two days. With the increasingly standardized rope access installations over the past
year, teams were able to halve the installation time from 10-12 hours per rotor set down to 5-9
hours depending on turbine technology.

Repeatability
The UpWind team has successfully been
able to complete the VG installations with
high quality standards and in an efficient
and repeatable manner. Using a repeatable
process ensured quality was not sacrificed
due to speed and vice versa.
Quality control is essential to ensure a long
lifetime for the VG and long-term returns on
investment. UpWind utilizes a 35 point quality
checklist with photo documentation of key
steps to allow highly detailed quality auditing.
We use a template to enable a quick and
repeatable installation process with proven
2-10 millimeter accuracy that improves both
quality and speed.

Share this Ebook.


Page 8

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

Improving VG Lifetime
To install the VGs, rope access technicians apply a durable, proprietary rapid curing adhesive tape
created by 3M, an industry leader in adhesive technology. The self-adhesive tape assures firm
bonding of the VG on the blade even in extreme climates.

Materials
Durability
Historically, a problem with VGs has been fins weakening, cracking or breaking in harsh conditions.
This failure has been completely eliminated within the first year even in extreme weather
conditions. One VG site in New York had zero damage to VG fins despite the record breaking cold
temperatures, ice, and wind speeds through the first winter. A competitors VG solution on the
same site showed significant breakage of fins. UV degradation is one root cause of fin breakage due
to brittleness. UpWind wanted a material that could last 10-20 years so we worked to find the best
matching plastic and adhesive. Once we found the best weathering-resistant and UV-stable plastic,
we discovered our original tape selection didn't perform to our standards. We had to institute
additional surface prep on the plastic so that the bonding between the adhesive and the VG is
matching the demanding requirements demonstrating a superior durability.

Adhesives
Adhesive to blade
With the 1st generation of VGs we observed 1 out of 22,000
installs in 2013 that detached. This single VG detachment
occurred at the lowest region where centripetal forces are
the highest. In addition, the VGs have performed well
where there have been significant icing events.
Although the goal of a VG install is to have no loss during
the life of the turbine, according to parametric load
simulations, a loss of 10% of the VGs of one blade in a row
or 13% spread along the VG installation line is allowable
before the turbine is required to stop and be re-equipped
with VGs.
Adhesive to VG
At the end of 2013 we selected a new gray plastic so that the VGs would not negatively contrast
with the blades and to improve UV tolerance. The plastic selected did not exhibit the same reliable
bond between the VG and the adhesive. After further testing and root cause analysis, we were
able to modify the surface preparation so that the bond matched the reliable bond between the
adhesive and the blade, optimizing both the VG plastic against UV degradation, improving adhesive
bonding, and limiting the contrast with the blade.
Share this Ebook.
Page 9

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.

C A S E S T U DY

Proving the Value of Vortex Generators

PROJECT YOUR

AEP INCREASE WITH VGs

Calculate
Calculate
AEP
NOW

Share this Ebook.


Page 10

www.upwindsolutions.com
2014 UpWind Solutions, Inc.