Modeling stability of flap-enabled HAWT blades using spinning finite elements

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Conference Proceeding

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Horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) are growing in size and popularity for the generation of renewable energy to meet the worlda's ever increasing demand. Long-term safety and stability are major concerns related to the construction and use-phase of these structures. Braking and active pitch control are important tools to help maintain safe and stable operation, however variable cross-section control represents another possible tool as well. To properly evaluate the usefulness of this approach, modeling tools capable of representing the dynamic behavior of blades with conformable cross sections are necessary. In this study, a modeling method for representing turbine blades as a series of interconnected spinning finite elements (SPEs) is presented where the aerodynamic properties of individual elements may be altered to represent changes in the cross section due to conformability (e.g., use of a mechanical flap or a smarta conformable surface). Such a model is expected to be highly valuable in design of control rules for HAWT blades with conformable elements. Sensitivity and stability of the modeling approach are explored. © 2014 SPIE.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering