PhD Studentship: Large wind turbine smart rotor blades with distributed actuations

University of Bath - Mechanical Engineering

Supervisor name Dr Zhijin Wang 

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Large wind turbine blades are susceptible to the unpredictable unsteady atmospheric phenomena. Majority of modern large wind turbines run at variable rotation speed combined with the adjustment of the collective pitch angle of the blades to alleviate the impact of unsteady loads. Since the atmospheric characteristics are unlikely to be uniform across the large wind turbine sweep area, it is therefore unlikely that all the rotor blades will be operated under optimized conditions by using collective pitch adjustment. This project aims to develop a novel approach of sophisticated load control techniques for future large wind turbine systems by means of distributed fluidic actuations, namely, smart blade systems. Although there is a lack of understanding of three-dimensional separated flows and their controls using distributed actuations, the potential for load reduction by using smart control concepts for wind turbines has been proven with various approaches. In this project, various flow control devices will be tested in wind/water tunnels. The proposed research will be multidisciplinary through integration of fundamental fluid dynamics and aerodynamics, control engineering and wind power engineering.

The successful candidate will be fully funded for 3.5 years. This studentship will cover Home tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000/annum, and a standard tax-free maintenance payment of at least £14,296 (16/7 rate). Candidates are expected to start on 3rd October 2016.

This funding is available for Home or EU nationals residing in the UK ONLY, but we do welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide.

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