Stress validation of finite element model of a small-scale wind turbine blade

Abstract

Wind turbine blades are the first mechanical part of a wind turbine that interacts with the wind and hence play a key role in wind power generation. It is important that the wind turbine blade is tested for structural integrity in accordance to design code IEC 61400-23 such as strain limits, fatigue life, blade tip clearance limit, and surface stress. This paper aims to focus on the calculation and validation of static bending stresses in the blade; it presents the experimental and simulated stress analysis of a small-scale wind turbine blade. The simulation and 3D design software ANSYS, version 19.0 is used in the finite element analysis (FEA). By using FEA, we aim to capture the stress generated on the blade geometry under static loading and unloading conditions. As a first step towards this, the finite element results were validated against experimental results on a kestrel E230i turbine blade. The wind turbine blade was fixed at one end, loaded, and unloaded statically at three selected points. The finite element results are calculated within a 25% error margin of the experimental results. A reverse engineering procedure was used to determine the appropriate ANSYS model blade properties that were used as the exact material properties were not available from the manufacturer.

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Published
2019-06-22