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Objectives and Research Methods of the HyBlade Project

The main objectives of this project are the development of an optimized wind turbine blade for VAWT wind farms and of the required metal forming technology for the mass production, resulting in a higher power output by a specific arrangement of these vertical axis wind turbines.

The necessary technological steps to achieve the project goals are:

  • Optimisation of the blade profiles and the whole VAWT mesh to take advantage of the positive interference and the increase in power output per unit ground surface.
  • Design of a metal blade which is light and stiff enough compared to a fibre reinforced one
  • The manufacturing of these metal blades by a process combination of roll forming as preform and hydroforming for calibration
  • In order to achieve these objectives the following research methods will be used:
  • theoretical studies
  • finite element modelling and computational fluid dynamics
  • prototyping and measurement
  • application tests

Theoretical studies

All relevant data concerning VAWT group behaviour, blade profiles, material choice, forming technology and design as well as possible production processes will be gathered.

Finite-element modelling and computational fluid dynamics

The use of CFD allows the evaluation of the behaviour of VAWTs in meshes as well as of the streaming behaviour of single blades. Furthermore the loads will be calculated for structure analysis and design of the blades. The structural simulation will be used for the optimisation of the blade design under consideration of metal forming processes. Within the forming simulation the feasibility of the blade geometry will be ensured. The simulation will significantly reduce the amount of experimental work required.

Prototyping and measurement

During the investigations prototypes of metal blades will be carried out by hydroforming. Measurements of the shape accuracy will be used for an iterative process optimisation.

Field / application tests

Wind tunnel and field tests will check the energy output of the VAWT with metal blades and are the pre-condition for further industrial application tests.