Risø, the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark, is conducting researching on improving the efficiency of wind turbine blades by adding plastic edges on the blades.
Helge Aagaard Madsen, who is a research specialist on the project, explains, “Providing the blade with a movable trailing edge it is possible to control the load on the blade and extend the life time of the wind turbine components. This is similar to the technique used on aircrafts, where flaps regulate the lift during the most critical times such as at take-off and landing. If the results confirm our estimated performance, we will test the rubber trailing edge on a full-scale wind turbine within a few years.”
Research shows built-in rubber cavities provide the desired movement of the trailing edge, when the cavities are being put under pressure by air or water. The rubber cavities thus save the turbine blades from wear-and-tear.