Quick Method for Aeroelastic and Finite Element Modeling of Wind Turbine Blades

Jeffrey Bennett, Robert Bitsche, Kim Branner, Taeseong Kim

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    In this paper a quick method for modeling composite wind turbine blades is developed for aeroelastic simulations and finite element analyses. The method reduces the time to model a wind turbine blade by automating the creation of a shell finite element model and running it through a cross-sectional analysis tool in order to obtain cross-sectional properties for the aeroelastic simulations. The method utilizes detailed user inputs of the structural layup and aerodynamic profile including ply thickness, orientation, material properties and airfoils to create the models. After the process is complete the user has two models of the same blade, one for performing a structural finite element model analysis and one for aeroelastic simulations. Here, the method is implemented and applied to reverse engineer a structural layup for the NREL 5MW reference blade. The model is verified by comparing natural frequencies to the
    reference blade. Further, the application to aeroelastic and structural evaluations is demonstrated. Aeroelastic analyses are performed, and predicted fatigue loads are presented. Extreme loads from the aeroelastic simulations are extracted and applied onto the blade for a structural evaluation of the blade strength.
    Results show that the structural properties and natural frequencies of the developed 5MW blade match well with the reference blade, however the structural analysis found excessive strain at 16% span in the spare caps that would cause the blade to fail.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2014: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
    Number of pages7
    PublisherThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
    Publication date2014
    Article numberGT2014-26155
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event ASME Turbo Expo 2014 - CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
    Duration: 16 Jun 201420 Jun 2014


    Conference ASME Turbo Expo 2014
    LocationCCD Congress Center Düsseldorf
    Internet address


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