Flow Control Devices for Wind Turbines

  • Iñigo AramendiaEmail author
  • Unai Fernandez-Gamiz
  • Jose Antonio Ramos-Hernanz
  • Javier Sancho
  • Jose Manuel Lopez-Guede
  • Ekaitz Zulueta
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 37)


The following chapter provides an overview about available knowledge, references and investigations on the active and passive flow control devices, initially developed for aeronautic industry that are currently being investigated and introduced on wind turbines. The main goal pursued with the introduction of these devices is to delay the boundary layer separation and enhance/suppress turbulences. The aim is to achieve a lift enhancement, drag reduction or flow-induced noise reduction among other parameters. However, achieving these goals present some issues, because the improvement of one of these parameters may suppose an undesired effect in another. For this reason it is necessary to study in detail each one of these devices, their operating concept, applications and their main advantages and drawbacks. Depending on the flow control nature, devices can be classified as actives or passives. Passive techniques allow to improve the performance of the wind turbines without external energy expenditure whereas active techniques require external energy for their activation. There are a lot of devices and in this chapter there have been compiled some of the most important ones, both passives devices (Vortex Generators , Microtabs, Spoilers, Fences, Serrated trailing edge) and actives devices (Trailing edge flaps, Air Jet Vortex Generators, Synthetic Jets).


Wind turbine Flow control Passive devices Active devices Cost of energy Energy efficiency 

Abbreviation and Acronyms


Actuator Vortex Generator


Active Flow Control


Air Jet Vortex Generator


Computational Fluid Dynamics


Cost of Energy


Delay Stall


Degree of Freedom


Danmarks Tekniske Universitet


Energy Wind Energy Association


Finite Element Method


Vortex Generator


Leading Edge


Mid Chord


Multidisciplinary Design Optimization


National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Operation and Maintenance


Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes


Reference Wind Turbine


Shear Stress Transport


Trailing Edge


Pulsed Vortex Generator Jet


Kinetic Energy






Lift Coefficient


Drag Coefficient






Angle of Attack









I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Unai Fernandez Gamiz, from Nuclear Engineering and Fluid Mechanics Department of University of the Basque Country of Vitoria-Gasteiz, for his support for the performance of this chapter, and his willingness to share bibliography, time and knowledge. This work was supported by both the Government of the Basque Country and the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU through the SAIOTEK (S-PE11UN112) and EHU12/26 research programs, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iñigo Aramendia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Unai Fernandez-Gamiz
    • 1
  • Jose Antonio Ramos-Hernanz
    • 2
  • Javier Sancho
    • 1
  • Jose Manuel Lopez-Guede
    • 3
  • Ekaitz Zulueta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Engineering and Fluid MechanicsUniversity of the Basque CountryVitoria-GasteizSpain
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of the Basque CountryVitoria-GasteizSpain
  3. 3.Department of Systems Engineering and AutomaticsUniversity of the Basque CountryVitoria-GasteizSpain

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