Technical Proceedings of the 2008 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show

Clean Technology 2008

Chapter 2: Renewables: Photovoltaics, Wind & Geothermal

F.L. Ponta, A.D. Otero, L.I. Lago
Michigan Technological University, US
160 - 163
fluid-structure interaction, wind-turbine blades
Limitations in the current blade technology constitute a technological barrier that needs to be broken in order to continue the improvement in wind-energy cost. Blade manufacturing is mostly based on composite laminates, which is labor-intensive and requires highly-qualified manpower. It constitutes a bottleneck to turbine upscaling that reflects into the increasing share of the cost of the rotor, within the total cost of the turbine, as turbine size increases. A key for a breakthrough in wind-turbine technology is to reduce the uncertainties related to blade dynamics, by the improvement of the quality of numerical simulations of the fluid-structure interaction process, and by a better understanding of the underlying physics. The goal is to introduce new technological solutions that improve the economics of blade design, manufacturing and transport logistics. In this talk, we shall introduce a new approach aimed to create a “Virtual Test Environment” where the aeroelastic dynamics of innovative prototype blades may be tested at “real” full-scale conditions. It combines two advanced numerical models implemented in a parallel HPC supercomputer platform: A model of the dynamics of unsteady separated flows using Vorticity-Velocity Self-Adaptive algorithms; and a model of the structural response of heterogeneous composite blades using Variational-Asymptotic Beam Sectional techniques.
A New Computational Model for Fluid-Structure Interaction Phenomena in Wind-Turbine Blades