Wind Turbine Performance Improvement, Unsteady Load and Acoustic Level Attenuation Using On-Blade Single Dielectric Barrier Discharge (SDBD) Plasma Actuators


The University of Notre Dame Center for Flow Physics and Control (FlowPAC) has pioneered the development of plasma actuators for aerodynamic control. Patented technology for the application of plasma-enhanced flow control of wind turbines will translate into increased capacity, normalized output, decreased structure weight, and decreased cost. A proof of concept of plasma-based aerodynamic control on wind turbine blades was demonstrated in 2008 and verified gust force alleviation for the full range of fullscale wind turbine speeds while increasing energy capture.



A single dielectric barrier aerodynamic plasma actuator apparatus based on the dielectric barrier discharge phenomenon for application to aerodynamic uses in drag reduction, stall elimination, and airfoil efficiency improvement and optimization. Non-uniform in time and space, partially ionized gasses are generated by one or more electrode pairs each having one electrically encapsulated electrode and one air stream exposed electrode with energization by a high-voltage alternating current waveform.


Increased Airfoil Efficiency & Energy Capture

Lower Cut-in & Higher Cut-out speeds

Reduced blade weight & turbine noise

Gust force mitigation

Normalized output

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Richard Cox
Director, Licensing & Business Development
University of Notre Dame
(574) 631-5158
Thomas Corke
Robert Nelson
Flint Thomas
Mehul Patel
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