The blades of large, pitch regulated wind turbines often have poor aerodynamic properties at the root due to form and operation limitations. The required structural twist of the blades is very expensive to realize and therefore, there is always a potential for aerodynamic improvement of their performance. Furthermore, surface roughness and leading edge erosion induce local flow separation. This has a significant impact on the aerodynamic performance of wind turbines.
3M has joined forces with SMART BLADE to develop Vortex Generators (VGs), designed for each specific blade type. They improve the performance of the blades by energizing the flow around its surface and reducing flow separation. The performance of the entire turbine in terms of power, loads and service life are therefore being improved by means of sophisticated Vortex Generator installation.
As reliability is the key to achieve a long-term profitable investment, the material selection and evaluation is based on 3M's extensive knowledge about plastics, bonding technologies and weathering. We provide Vortex Generators made out of a highly durable thermoplastic with dimensional stability and strength, which has a proven track record of superior weathering resistance. Furthermore, our VGs are equipped with 3M™ Acrylic Foam Tape die-cuts – a family of double sided tapes made from high performance acrylic adhesives. The tapes provide excellent long term durability and holding power, while not damaging the blade surface. They have been performing successfully in a wide range of long term and demanding applications for over 30 years.