Scientific advances and innovation

Sensor and actuator add-ons for a dynamic adaptation of the blade aerodynamics.

The ASAPe project propose to develop a serie of original, robust and simple ADD-ON system, composed of E-penon sensors and/or wireless pressure sensors as well as fluidic actuators of pulsed jet type, capable of dynamically adapting wind turbine blade aerodynamic and thus to decrease aerodynamic loads. This system will be progressively brought to maturity by using a bidimensional blade profile in the aerodynamic wind tunnel of LHEEA lab. (gust at an intermediate scale) and the Jules Verne wind tunnel of CSTB (fluctuating wind at full scale). At full scale, a real wind turbine blade profile will be provided by industrials who have signed a support letter for this projet (EDF-EN and VALOREM). Also, a prospectif work will be conducted to prepare wind field test (choice of the site, the wind turbine type, the position and control strategy …).

Expected technical and economic impact

The wind upstream of the wind turbine rotor is highly unsteady and inhomogeneous (misalignment of the rotor in the wind, turbulence of the atmosphere, gust … etc) while blade are increasingly longer. Using Add-ons (systems installed a posteriori) on the blade for a dynamic adaptation of the aerodynamics to prevent load fluctuations is foreseen to be a significant improvement to increase wind turbine lifetime.

Key project milestones

  • May 2019 - Characterization of the LHEEA wind tunnel (intermediate scale) new perturbation system with its impact on airfoil load dynamics
  • June 2019 - Sensors tested in the LHEEA wind tunnel and CSTB wind tunnel (full scale)
  • January 2020 - Active control of blade aerodynamics in LHEEA wind tunnel with the new perturbation system.
  • May 2020 - Actuator/sensor couples tests in LHEEA wind tunnel
  • January 2021 - One chosen actuator/sensor couple tested in CSTB wind tunnel
  • May 2022 - Add-ons for site tests


The ASAPe project will be realized with the equipment acquired as part of the ROTOR-OPTIM project.

Demonstration of the control at intermediate scale (January 2020) and at full scale (January 2021).


Characterization of flow behind chopper blade:

I. Neunaber, C. Braud, A. Soulier, S. Aubrun Wind Energy Science Conference, 2019, Cork, Irland.

Main findings are gust scaling parameters:

  • downstream position
  • blade width
  • rotational frequency

Ability eTellTale to detect flow features:

A. Soulier, C. Braud, D. Voisin, B. Podvin, et al Wind Energy Science Conference, 2019, Cork, Irland.



Wireless pressure sensors (CSTB)

As a result of the ASAPe project, and based on its results, TWO new projects have emerged:

  • Projet ePARADISE (Évaluation des Perturbations AéRodynamiques sur les pales pour l’Amélioration de la Durabilité et de l’Impact Sonore des Éoliennes)



Publications and papers published

  • Soulier, C. Braud, D Voisin, F Dandon, V Jaunet, JJ Lasserre et P Galtier.   “Electronique Tell-Tale, a sensor to detect flow separation on wind turbine blades.”   SMARTEOLE colloquium, PRISME, Orléans, France, 2018.
  • Examples of wind-turbineoriented aerodynamic challenges, Sandrine AUBRUN, Caroline BRAUD, Boris CONAN, Benyamin SCHLIFFKE (Centrale Nantes), French American Innovation Day 2019, March 18-19, Boston – Download the presentation
  • Characterization of a new perturbation system for gust generation: The Chopper, Ingrid Neunaber, Caroline Braud, Antoine Soulier and Sandrine Aubrun (LHEEA – Ecole Centrale Nantes, CNRS), Wind Energy Science Conference, 2019, Cork, Irland. 18 juin 2019
  • Ability eTellTale to detect flow features. A. Soulier, C. Braud, D. Voisin, B. Podvin, et al Wind Energy Science Conference, 2019, Cork, Irland.
  • I. Neunaber & C. Braud « First characterization of a new perturbation system for gust generation: the chopper » Wind Energ. Sci., 5, 759–773, 2020
  • I. Neunaber & C. Braud «Aerodynamic behavior of an airfoil under extreme wind conditions» Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1618 (2020) 032035
  • Antoine Soulier, Caroline Braud, Dimitri Voisin, Bérangère Podvin “Ability of the electronic Tell-Tale sensor to detect flow features over wind turbine blades: flow separation/reattachment dynamics”, Wind Energ. Sci.,
  • A. Soulier, C. Braud , D. Voisin, F. Danbon « High Reynolds wind tunnel tests for the evaluation of e-TellTale sensor to detect flow separation on wind turbine blades. », en préparation.
  • I. Neunaber & C. Braud « Aerodynamic behavior of an airfoil under extreme wind conditions », TORQUE, online-conference (due to COVID-19) in September 2020.


ORGANIZATION OF A mini-symposium DURING Wind Energy Science Conference, 2019 :  “Active Flow Control on Blades”

14 participants: Seimens-Gamesa, TUDelft, Forwind, DLR, DTU, ECN.TNO, Univ. Waterloo, IRPHE(FR), AIST (J), Scalian(FR), Mer Agitée(FR), LAAS(FR), LHEEA(FR), Orléans(FR)



Pale de rotor d’éolienne comportant un actionneur fluidique et procédé d’amélioration des performances aérodynamiques des éoliennes
N°1906307 / date de dépot: 13/06/2019


Validation of Add-ons on a real wind turbine or back to wind tunnel tests for improvement of add-ons or developments of new actuator/sensor technologies.