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The University of Southampton

Research project: High-fidelity testing of wind turbine blade substructures

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The size of wind turbine blades is increasing as the demand for higher rated power turbines climbs. This presents challenges in the design of blades so that they may remain light yet sufficiently strong to withstand the large forces and bending moments applied to them from the various load conditions experienced during operation.

To determine accurate local loading effects and failure envelopes of the blade structure by quick and cost effective means, a subcomponent based approach is beneficial. This will allow for high-fidelity testing and modelling of blade structures, while remaining feasible in both the numerical and physical domains, where measurement of the strains and stresses can establish if damage progression will evolve from manufacturing defects or damaged areas.

wind Turbine diagram

This approach would assist with the optimisation of blade weight, as many more tests could be conducted than the current full-scale methods with more detail pertaining to specific components which will encourage subcomponent optimisation, and therefore encourage the development of larger blades in the future.

Wind turbine diagram

This project is sponsored by the EPSRC and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

Related research groups

Infrastructure Group
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