The project focuses on two closely related engineering topics of importance to the EU economy and its society. The unrelenting increase in the length of modern suspended-span bridges makes them increasingly vulnerable to wind-induced vibrations and instabilities known respectively as buffeting and flutter (several bridge-construction projects with central span in excess of 1000m are currently being built or planned). In much the same way large wind turbines with power outputs in excess of 10MW and blade length well in excess of 100m are currently being investigated. As the blades of these machines increase in length, while also being constructed from lighter and more flexible materials, they too become susceptible to flutter and buffeting. In the case of large offshore wind farms, which may be exposed to highly unsteady aerodynamic loading, buffet suppression is especially important if this power generation means is to become widespread and economically attractive.
The central focus of the proposed work is to seek common techniques for the analysis and suppression of wind-induced oscillations in large flexible civil engineering structures. These apparently unrelated systems face similar challenges and a coordinated attack on both appears to be technically well motivated. The application of small aerodynamics devices will be investigated, in order to devise relatively high frequency and robust control systems, which will be both simulated and tested in wind tunnel.
The research is highly interdisciplinary, as it combines mechanics, aerodynamics and control.
The main beneficiaries of the work will be the bridge design and construction industry as well as the wind turbine industry. Secondary beneficiaries will include government and society at large, who will have access to cheaper mobility and cheaper wind energy. Additionally the work has important spin-off applications for the fluid-dynamic control of other flexible structures which operate in a turbulent flow field
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsrenewable energywindpower
- engineering and technologymechanical engineeringvehicle engineeringaerospace engineeringaeronautical engineering
- engineering and technologymechanical engineeringvehicle engineeringaerospace engineeringaircraft
- engineering and technologycivil engineering
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectronic engineeringautomation and control systems
Call for proposal
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