The UCLA Energy Innovation Laboratory is investigating advanced wind turbine blade designs.
Large wind turbine blades are being developed at lengths of 85-125 meters, in order to improve energy capture and reduce the cost of wind energy. Bending loads in the inboard region of the blade make large blade development challenging. The "biplane blade" design was proposed to use a biplane inboard region to improve the design of the inboard region and improve overall performance of large blades.
Recent efforts in wind turbine blade design have focused on improving the aerodynamic performance of the inboard section of wind turbine blades. For structural reasons, this area of the blade typically uses thick airfoils that have poor aerodynamic performance. The "biplane blade" is one of a number of "multi-element" blade designs that seek to improve the aerodynamic performance of the inboard region. Through experiment and computations, we seek to better understand the aerodynamic performance of biplane wind turbine blades.