Accuracy of an efficient framework for structural analysis of wind turbine blades

José Pedro Albergaria Amaral Blasques, Robert D. Bitsche, Vladimir Fedorov, Boyan Stefanov Lazarov

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    This paper presents a novel framework for the structural design and analysis of wind turbine blades and establishes its accuracy. The framework is based on a beam model composed of two parts—a 2D finite element-based cross-section analysis tool and a 3D beam finite element model. The cross-section analysis tool is able to capture the effects stemming from material anisotropy and inhomogeneity for sections of arbitrary geometry. The proposed framework is very efficient and therefore ideally suited for integration within wind turbine aeroelastic design and analysis tools. A number of benchmark examples are presented comparing the results from the proposed beam model to 3D shell and solid finite element models. The examples considered include a square prismatic beam, an entire wind turbine rotor blade and a detailed wind turbine blade cross section. Phenomena at both the blade length scale—deformation and eigenfrequencies—and cross section scale—3D material strain and stress fields—are analyzed. Furthermore, the effect of the different assumptions regarding the boundary conditions is discussed in detail. The benchmark examples show excellent agreement suggesting that the proposed framework is a highly efficient alternative to 3D finite element models for structural analysis of wind turbine blades. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind Energy
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)1603–1621
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Wind turbine blade
    • Structural analysis
    • Beam model
    • Cross-section analysis


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