An Integrated Approach to Wind Turbine Fatigue Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
D. J. Laino, A. C. Hansen

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

J. Sol. Energy Eng 119(3), 242-247 (Aug 01, 1997) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888026 History: Received March 01, 1996; Revised November 01, 1996; Online February 14, 2008


The wind turbine dynamics codes YawDyn and ADAMS have been interfaced with the LIFE2 code for fatigue life estimation via a new interface program, Dyn2LIFE. This work is sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with the intent of making it straightforward and practical for wind turbine designers to determine those aspects of their design and wind environment that will cause the most fatigue damage. Several parameters suspected of affecting turbine fatigue life are investigated through a model of the NREL Phase III Combined Experiment Rotor. This study proved the Dyn2LIFE code useful in creating LIFE2 input from YawDyn and ADAMS output, and also revealed some areas of possible expansion and improvement. Results from this study of a steel blade root suggest changes affecting the normal operation of the turbine alter fatigue life more than rare, high load events. Understanding how the material fatigue characteristics affect lifetime estimates is discussed in terms of the S-N curve utilized in this study. This paper presents the first results from an ongoing project. In the future, we plan to analyze a variety of turbine configurations to help identify those variables which may have the greatest influence on fatigue life.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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