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CARRE Winter Seminar Series – Professor Cameron Tropea

  • UTIAS 4925 Dufferin Street North York, ON, M3H 5T4 Canada (map)
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Passive Load Alleviation on Wind Turbine Rotors


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Cameron Tropea
Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Cordes, Dr.-Ing. B. Lambie, Dr.-Ing. K. Hufnagel
Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

A new passive section approach to alleviate gust loads – the Adaptive Camber Concept – on wind turbines is introduced. The concept entails fluid-structure interaction, where flow conditions at the leading edge affect the airfoil shape. Under steady conditions, the adaptive camber airfoil de-cambers gradually with increasing angle of attack, yielding a lift curve with declined slope. The concept is investigated experimentally and numerically. Unsteady angle of attack fluctuations of various reduced frequencies are generated by means of an active grid. The adaptive camber airfoil is found to alleviate up to 60% of the fluctuating loads, while generating higher mean lift compared to a rigid airfoil.


Cameron Tropea graduated from the University of Toronto in Engineering Sciences, followed by a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (1977). He completed his Dr.-Ing. in Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Karlsruhe (1982) and his Habilitation in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (1991) where he was appointed Professor of Fluid Mechanics until 1997. This was followed by an appointment to his current chair of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics at the Technische Universität Darmstadt. Currently Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Experiments in Fluids and past Director of the Center of Smart Interfaces (CSI) in the period 2007-2014, his research interests include Optical Measurement Techniques in Fluid Mechanics, Interfacial Transport Phenomena, Atomization and Spray Processes and Unsteady Aerodynamics. He has recently been appointed a member of the Scientific Commission of the Council of Science and Humanities in Germany.