Representation of wind turbine blade responses in power production load cases by linear mode shapes

Ozan Gözcü*, Mathias Stolpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The wind turbine industry is designing large MW size turbines with very long blades, which exhibit large deflections during their operational life. These large deflections decrease the accuracy of linear models such as linear finite element and modal‐based models, in which the structure is represented by linear mode shapes. The aim of this study is to investigate the competence of the mode shapes to represent the large blade responses in normal operation load cases. For this purpose, blade deflections are projected onto the linear modal space, swept by mode shape vectors. The projection shows the contribution of each mode and the projection error. The blade deflections are calculated by a nonlinear aero‐servo‐elastic solver for power production fatigue load cases with normal turbulence. The mode shapes are calculated at the steady‐state deflected blade position computed at different wind speeds. Three reference turbine blades are used in the study to evaluate the effects of various blade design parameters such as length, stiffness, mass, and prebend. The results show that although the linear mode shapes can represent the flapwise and edgewise deflections accurately, axial and torsional deflections cannot be captured with good accuracy. The geometric nonlinear effects are more apparent in the latter directions. The results indicate that the blade deflections occur beyond the linear assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1317-1330
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Geometric nonlinearity
  • Structural dynamics
  • Wind energy
  • Wind turbine aerolasticity
  • Wind turbine loads

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