Wind Turbine Adaptive Blade Integrated Design and Analysis

Hui Zhang

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This project aims to develop efficient and robust tools for optimal design of wind turbine adaptive blades. In general, wind turbine adaptive blade design is an aero-structure coupled design process, in which, the evaluation of aerodynamic performance cannot be carried out precisely without structural deformation analysis of the adaptive blade. However, employing finite element analysis (FEA) based structural analysis commercial packages as part of the aerodynamic objective evaluation process has been proven time consuming and it results in inefficient and redundant design optimisation of adaptive blades caused by elastic-coupled (bend-twist or stretch-twist) iteration. In order to achieve the goal of wind turbine adaptive blade integrated design and analysis, this project is carried out from three aspects. Firstly, a general geometrically linear model for thin-walled composite beams with multi-cell, non-uniform cross-section and arbitrary lay-ups under various types of loadings is developed for implementing structural deformation analysis. After that, this model is validated by a simple box-beam, single- and multi-cell wind turbine blades. Through validation, it denotes that this thin-walled composite beam model is efficient and accurate for predicting the structural deformations compared to FEA based commercial packages (ANSYS). This developed beam model thus provides more probabilities for further investigations of dynamic performance of adaptive blades. Secondly in order to investigate the effects of aero elastic tailoring and implanting elastic coupling on aerodynamic performance of adaptive blades, auxiliary software tools with graphical interfaces are developed via MATLAB codes. Structural/material characteristics and configurations of adaptive blades (i.e. elastic coupling topology, layup configuration and material properties of blade) are defined by these auxiliary software tools. By interfacing these software tools to the structural analysers based on the developed thin-walled composite beam model to an aerodynamic performance evaluator, an integrated design environment is developed. Lastly, by using the developed thin-walled composite beam model as a search platform, the application of the decoupled design method, a method of design of smart aero-structures based on the concept of variable state design parameter, is also extended.
Original languageEnglish
  • Maheri, Alireza, Supervisor
Publication statusIn preparation - Oct 2013


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