Flutter behavior of highly flexible blades for two- and three-bladed wind turbines


With the progression of novel design, material, and manufacturing technologies, the wind energy industry has successfully produced larger and larger wind turbine rotor blades while driving down the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Though the benefits of larger turbine blades are appealing, larger blades are prone to aeroelastic instabilities due to their long, slender, highly flexible nature, and this effect is accentuated as rotors further grow in size. In addition to the trend of larger rotors, non-traditional rotor concepts are emerging including two-bladed rotors and downwind configurations. In this work, we introduce a comprehensive evaluation of flutter behavior including classical flutter, edgewise vibration, and flutter mode characteristics for two-bladed, downwind rotors. Flutter speed trends and characteristics for a series of both two- and three-bladed rotors are analyzed and compared in order to illustrate the flutter behavior of two-bladed rotors relative to more well-known flutter characteristics of three-bladed rotors. In addition, we examine the important problem of blade design to mitigate flutter and present a solution to mitigate flutter in the structural design process. A study is carried out evaluating the effect of leading edge and trailing edge reinforcement on flutter speed and hence demonstrates the ability to increase the flutter speed and satisfy structural design requirements (such as fatigue) while maintaining or even reducing blade mass.

Wind Energy Science
Mayank Chetan
Mayank Chetan
PhD, Mechanical Engineering

Current research interests include wind turbine structures, aero-elasticity and loads analysis.