Wind Turbine Trailing Edge Aerodynamic Brakes

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Five trailing-edge devices were investigated to determine their potential as wind-turbine aerodynamic brakes, and for power modulation and load alleviation. Several promising configurations were identified. A new device, called the spoiler-flap, appears to be the best alternative. It is a simple device that is effective at all angles of attack. It is not structurally intrusive, and it has thepotential for small actuating loads. It is shown that simultaneous achievement of a low lift/drag ratio and high drag is the determinant of device effectiveness, and that these attributes must persist up to an angle of attack of 45 degrees. It is also argued that aerodynamic brakes must be designed for a wind speed of at least 45 m/s (100 mph).
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages12
    StatePublished - 1995

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-441-7805


    • aerodynamic brakes
    • load alleviation
    • power modulation
    • spoiler-flap
    • wind turbines


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