Design and analysis of a segmented blade for a 50 MW wind turbine rotor


Extreme-size wind turbines face logistical challenges due to their sheer size. A solution, segmentation, is examined for an extreme-scale 50 MW wind turbine with 250 m blades using a systematic approach. Segmentation poses challenges regarding minimizing joint mass, transferring loads between segments and logistics. We investigate the feasibility of segmenting a 250 m blade by developing design methods and analyzing the impact of segmentation on the blade mass and blade frequencies. This investigation considers various variables such as joint types (bolted and bonded), adhesive materials, joint locations, number of joints and taper ratios (ply dropping). Segmentation increases blade mass by 4.1%–62% with bolted joints and by 0.4%–3.6% with bonded joints for taper ratios up to 1:10. Cases with large mass growth significantly reduce blade frequencies potentially challenging the control design. We show that segmentation of an extreme-scale blade is possible but mass reduction is necessary to improve its feasibility.

Wind Engineering
Mayank Chetan
Mayank Chetan
PhD, Mechanical Engineering

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