Stress and Modal Analysis of a Wind Turbine Composite Blade

Application ID: 68321

Wind turbines are an increasingly popular source of renewable energy. As such, the design, analysis and manufacture of wind turbines are important to the energy industry. The turbine blades are critical components of a wind turbine. When generating electric power through rotation, they have to withstand different types of loads, such as wind, gravitational, and centrifugal loads. The sheer size of a blade necessitates light and strong materials, and composites are well suited for this.

This example shows how to analyze a composite wind turbine blade using a mixture of carbon–epoxy, glass–vinylester and PVC foam. The blade is constructed as a sandwich structure where the PVC foam core is sandwiched between carbon–epoxy and glass–vinylester.

First, a stress analysis of the blade is performed in which it is subjected to a combination of gravitational and centrifugal loads. The tip displacement, maximum stress values, and through-thickness stress distribution at a particular point on the blade are computed for different load cases. Second, a prestressed eigenfrequency analysis is performed for a range of operating speeds. A Campbell diagram depicting the variation of eigenfrequencies with rotation speed is generated.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: