Biplane wind turbine blades: aero-structural design studies

TitleBiplane wind turbine blades: aero-structural design studies
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRoth-Johnson, Perry, Phillip K. Chiu, and Richard E. Wirz
Keywords2D aerodynamics, beam finite elements, biplane, biplane spar, cross-sectional analysis, parametric analysis, wind turbine blades
AbstractLarge wind turbine blades are being developed at lengths of 75-100 meters to improve energy capture and reduce the cost of wind energy. Bending loads in the inboard region of the blade make large blade development challenging. This work used aerodynamic and structural design studies to assess the feasibility of the "biplane blade," an unconventional design proposed to improve the aero-structural blade performance. For aerodynamics, 2D simulations show that the biplane is more aerodynamically efficient than a thick monoplane. For structures, this work focused on the internal "biplane spar." Beam finite elements and cross-sectional analysis were used to compare spar deflections, bending moments, and axial forces. A parametric analysis shows biplane spar configurations have 25-35% smaller tip deflections and 75% smaller root bending moments than monoplane spars of the same length and mass. The benefits for the inboard region could lead to blade weight reductions and enable construction of large blades.

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