EDF Boosts Wind Production With 3M Vortex Generators

EDF Renewables North America has installed 3M wind vortex generators (VGs) at its Chestnut Flats Wind Project in Logan Township, Pa.

The installation follows the successful field verification testing of VGs installed on six GE 1.5sle turbines. This testing was completed earlier this year at EDF’s Bobcat Bluff Wind Project in Archer County, Texas.

The Bobcat Bluff turbines with VGs were operated for a period of six months, after which a comparative performance analysis confirmed an annual energy production increase of 1.6%.

The Chestnut Flats VGs were installed in May and June of this year. The 38 MW project was developed and built by Gamesa Energy USA LLC and was acquired by EDF Renewables in November 2011. Chestnut Flats uses one Gamesa G87 turbine and 18 G90 turbines, each with a rated capacity of 2 MW. The predicted AEP increase for the project is 1.8%, which will be verified over the next four months.

VGs are small attachments made from durable materials that energize a flow around the blade and reduce flow separation. Due to the unique shape and properties of every wind turbine blade, the positioning of wind vortex generators is customized for each blade design. Additionally, the VGs are applied using 3M acrylic foam tape, which accommodates the flexing and residual forces acting on the blade surface while still providing high adhesive strength in challenging weather conditions.

“We were pleased with the results of the verification test at Bobcat Bluff,” says Dan Summa, vice president of generation at EDF Renewables North America. “For Chestnut Flats, we are predicting even better results due to a wind regime that is better suited for VGs.”

EDF Renewables and 3M entered into a collaboration agreement last year to install 3M wind VGs on wind turbines across the U.S.

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