Research Papers

Design and Fatigue Performance of Large Utility-Scale Wind Turbine Blades

[+] Author and Article Information
Peter K. Fossum

e-mail: peterkal@stud.ntnu.no

Lars Frøyd

e-mail: lars.froyd@ntnu.no

Ole G. Dahlhaug

e-mail: ole.g.dahlhaug@ntnu.no
Norwegian University of Science
and Technology,
Høgskoleringen 1,
Trondheim 7491 Norway

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 25, 2012; final manuscript received February 2, 2013; published online June 11, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Christian Masson.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(3), 031019 (Jun 11, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1163; doi: 10.1115/1.4023926 History: Received June 25, 2012; Revised February 18, 2013

Aeroelastic design and fatigue analysis of large utility-scale wind turbine blades have been performed to investigate the applicability of different types of materials in a fatigue environment. The blade designs used in the study are developed according to an iterative numerical design process for realistic wind turbine blades, and the software tool FAST is used for advanced aero-servo-elastic simulations. Elementary beam theory is used to calculate strain time series from these simulations, and the material fatigue is evaluated using established methods. Following wind turbine design standards, the fatigue evaluation is based on a turbulent wind load case. Fatigue damage is estimated based on 100% availability and a site-specific annual wind distribution. Rainflow cycle counting and Miner's sum for cumulative damage prediction is used together with constant life diagrams tailored to actual material S-N data. Material properties are based on 95% survival probability, 95% confidence level, and additional material safety factors to maintain conservative results. Fatigue performance is first evaluated for a baseline blade design of the 10 MW NOWITECH reference wind turbine. Results show that blade damage is dominated by tensile stresses due to poorer tensile fatigue characteristics of the shell glass fiber material. The interaction between turbulent wind and gravitational fluctuations is demonstrated to greatly influence the damage. The need for relevant S-N data to reliably predict fatigue damage accumulation and to avoid nonconservative conclusions is demonstrated. State-of-art wind turbine blade trends are discussed and different design varieties of the baseline blade are analyzed in a parametric study focusing on fatigue performance and material costs. It is observed that higher performance material is more favorable in the spar-cap construction of large blades which are designed for lower wind speeds.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


EWEA, 2012, “The European Offshore Wind Industry Key 2011 Trends and Statistics,” http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/statistics/EWEA_stats_offshore_2011_02.pdf
UpWind, 2011, “Welcome to Upwind,” accessed August 31, 2011, http://www.upwind.eu
Bak, C., Bitsche, R., Yde, A., Kim, T., Hansen, M. H., Zahle, F., Gaunaa, M., Blasques, J., Heinen, J. W., and Behrens, T., 2012, “Light Rotor: The 10-MW Reference Wind Turbine,” Proceedings of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Annual Event, Copenhagen, April 16–19.
Griffith, D. T., and T. D., Ashwill, T. D., 2011, “The Sandia 100-Meter All-Glass Baseline Wind Turbine Blade: SNL100-00,” Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, Paper No. SAND2011–3779.
Frøyd, L., and Dahlhaug, O. G., 2012, “Effect of Pitch and Safety System Design on Dimensioning Loads for Offshore Wind Turbines During Grid Fault,” Energy Procedia, 24, pp. 36–43. [CrossRef]
Cox, K., and Echtermeyer, A., 2012, “Structural Design and Analysis of a 10 MW Wind Turbine Blade,” Energy Procedia, 24, pp. 194–201. [CrossRef]
Frøyd, L., Dahlhaug, O. G., and Hansen, M. H., 2011, “Prediction of Flutter Speed on a 10 MW Wind Turbine,” Proceedings of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Offshore, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 29–December 1.
Frøyd, L., and Dahlhaug, O. G., 2011, “A Conceptual Design Method for Parametric Study of Blades for Offshore Wind Turbines,” 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE2011), Rotterdam, June 19–24, Vol. 5, pp. 609–618.
Jonkman, J. M., and Buhl, M. L., “FAST User's Guide,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Paper No. NREL/EL-500-38230.
IEC, 2009, “Wind Turbines—Part 3: Design Requirements for Offshore Wind Turbines,” International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva, Switzerland, Design Standard No. IEC 61400-3, Edition 1.
RECOFF, 2001, “Fatigue Load Parametric Studies; Wave Effects and Simulation Length Requirements,” RECOFF—Recommendations for Design of Offshore Wind Turbines, Risø National Laboratory, Denmark, http://www.risoe.dk/vea/recoff/Documents/Sec_3/RECOFFdoc015.pdf
IEC, 2005, “Wind Turbines—Part 1: Design Requirements,” International Electrotechnical Commission, Geneva, Switzerland, Standard No. IEC61400-1, Edition 3.
Hansen, M. O. L., Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines, 2nd ed., Earthscan Publications, London.
Laino, D. J., and Hansen, A. C., 2005, “User's Guide to the Wind Turbine Aerodynamics Computer Software AeroDyn,” NREL, Golden, CO.
Fischer, T., de Vries, W., and Schmidt, B., 2010, “Upwind Design Basis,” Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany, http://www.upwind.eu/pdf/WP4_DesignBasis.pdf
Philippidis, T. P., and Vassilopoulos, A. P., 2002, “Complex Stress State Effect on Fatigue Life of GRP Laminates: Part I, Experimental,” Int. J. Fatigue, 24(8), pp. 813–823. [CrossRef]
Philippidis, T. P., and Vassilopoulos, A. P., 2002, “Complex Stress State Effect on Fatigue Life of GRP Laminates: Part II, Theoretical Formulation,” Int. J. Fatigue, 24(8), pp. 825–830. [CrossRef]
ASTM, 2011, “Standard Practices for Cycle Counting in Fatigue Analysis,” Paper No. E1049-85 e 1.
Nieslony, A., 2003, “Rainflow Counting Algorithm,” File Exchange-MATLAB Central, http:// www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/3026-rainflow-counting-algorithm
Miner, M. A., 1945, “Cumulative Damage in Fatigue,” J. Appl. Mech., 12(3), pp. 159–164.
Nijssen, R. P. L., 2006, “Fatigue Life Prediction and Strength Degradation of Wind Turbine Rotor Blade Composites,” Ph.D thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.
Burton, T., Sharpe, D., Jenkins, N., and Bossanyi, E., 2001, Wind Energy Handbook, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, UK.
van Delft, D. R. V., de Winkel, G. D., and Joosse, P. A., 1997, “Fatigue Behaviour of Fibreglass Wind Turbine Blade Material Under Variable Amplitude Loading,” AIAA 35th Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit, Reno, NV, January 6–9, AIAA Paper No. 97-0951. [CrossRef]
Schön, J., and Nyman, T., 2002, “Spectrum Fatigue of Composite Bolted Joints,” Int. J. Fatigue, 24(2), pp. 273–279. [CrossRef]
Mandell, J. F., and Samborsky, D. D., 2009, “DOE/MSU Composite Material Fatigue Database,” Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, Version 18.1.
Vassilopoulos, A. P., Manshadi, B. D., and Keller, T., 2010, “Influence of the Constant Life Diagram Formulation on the Fatigue Life Prediction of Composite Materials,” Int. J. Fatigue, 32(4), pp. 659–669. [CrossRef]
Samborsky, D. D., Wilson, T. J., and Mandell, J. F., 2009, “Comparison of Tensile Fatigue Resistance and Constant Life Diagrams for Several Potential Wind Turbine Blade Laminates,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 131, p. 011006. [CrossRef]
Merz, K. O., 2011, “Conceptual Design of a Stall-Regulated Rotor for a Deepwater Offshore Wind Turbine,” Ph.D. thesis, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway.
Echtermeyer, A. T., 1994, “Fatigue of Glass Reinforced Composites Described by One Standard Fatigue Lifetime Curve,” Proceedings of the European Wind Energy Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, October 10–14, pp. 391–396.
DNV, 2010, “Design and Manufacture of Wind Turbine Blades, Offshore and Onshore Wind Turbines,” Det Norske Veritas, Design Standard No. DNV-DS-J102.
Griffin, D. A., 2002, “Blade System Design Studies Volume 1: Composite Technologies for Large Wind Turbine Blades,” Sandia National Laboratories, Paper No. SAND-1879.
Peeringa, J., Brood, R., Ceyhan, O., Engels, W., and de Winkel, G., 2011, “UpWind 20MW Wind Turbine Pre-Design,” ECN, Paper No. ECN-E–11-017.
GL, 2010, “Guideline for the Certification of Wind Turbines,” Germanischer Lloyd, Hamburg, Germany.
Wedel-Heinen, J., Tadich, J. K., Brokopf, C., Janssen, G. J., van Wingerde, A. M., van Delft, D. R., Kensche, C. W., Philippidis, T. P., Brøndsted, P., Dutton, A. G., and Nijssen, R. P. L., 2006, “Reliable Optimal Use of Materials for Wind Turbine Rotor Blades,” Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands, Petten, The Netherlands, http://www.wmc.eu/public_docs/10043_001.pdf
Stewart, R., 2012, “Wind Turbine Blade Production—New Products Keep Pace as Scale Increases,” Reinforced Plastics, 56(1), pp. 18–25. [CrossRef]
Gotro, J., 2011, “Polymer Challenges in the Wind Turbine Industry,” Polymer Innovation, http://polymerinnovationblog.com/polymer-challenges-in-the-wind-turbine-industry-3/
Sloan, J., 2011, “Carbon Fiber Market: Cautious Optimism,” Composites World, http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/carbon-fiber-market-cautious-optimism
Vestas, 2011, “Vestas V164-7.0 MW Offshore Product Brochure,” accessed, March 20, 2012, http:// www.vestas.com/en/media/brochures.aspx
Peters, L., Adolphs, G., Bech, J. I., and Brøndsted, P., 2006, “HiPer-Tex WindStrand™: A New Generation of High Performance Reinforcement,” Proceedings of the 27th Risø International Symposium on Materials Science, Roskilde, Denmark, September 4–7.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Weibull wind distribution of the K13 Deep Water Site [16]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Blade cross-section seen from the root

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Stress time series at low pressure side of a blade at Vhub = 15 m/s and I15 = 0.16 (class B turbulence)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

95/95 S-N data for material QQ1

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

CLD of the QQ1 material. The lines are constructed with the method outlined in this paper.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

GG2 and GH4 CLDs constructed with 95/95 strain S-N model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Location of fatigue damage of the 10 MW NOWITECH baseline blade design, shown as shaded areas. The darker shades means more fatigue damage. The upper blade shows tensile damage at pressure side for the GG2 material. The lower blade shows compressive damage at suction side for the GH4 material. The compressive damage is up-scaled to visualize damage locations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Cross-sectional location of tensile damage (left) for GG2 and compressive damage (right) for GH4. Note that the bar lengths are considerably up-scaled in the right figure to visualize the damage.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Span-wise distributions of blade stiffness and annual mean bending moments

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Comparison of the tailored GG2 CLD and a shifted linear CLD based on the GL 2010 standard

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Fatigue damage locations on the baseline blade estimated using a GL 2010 shifted linear CLD

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

QQ1 CLDs constructed with S-N data for six R values versus three R-values

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Weight trends of commercial wind turbine blades together with NOWITECH blade designs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

GG2 CLD and WS* CLD (constructed with WindStrand HiPer-texTMR = 0.1 S-N data for T-T and T-C regions and QQ1 R = 10 S-N data for C-C)




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In