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Dynamically optimised lightweight wind turbine blades

A methodology was developed for the aerodynamic design of wind turbine blades that minimises stresses and performance loss in response to unsteady loads. The capabilities of an existing aeroelastic calculation code were extended to the needs of the wind energy industry and applied to the design of optimised turbine blades. Despite substantial technical and financial difficulties, positive outcomes have been achieved in the form of follow-up projects to optimise the code itself, and improving users' accessibility to the high performance computers needed to run it.

The project aimed to develop and implement a methodology for the design of aeroelastically tailored wind turbine blades with dynamic characteristics such that their response to unsteady loads is minimised without loss of performance. As a secondary objective, the feasibility of using graphite fibres in turbine blades was investigated. This is lighter than equivalent composite materials and should allow larger diameter rotors to be used for the same basic machine design.

Reported by

ONERA Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales Institut Aérotechnique
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