29 Aug 2023
 | 29 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Sensitivity of cross-sectional compliance to manufacturing tolerances for wind turbine blades

Vincent Karel Maes, Terence Macquart, Paul M. Weaver, and Alberto Pirrera

Abstract. Wind-turbine blades are complex structures and, despite advancements in analysis techniques, differences persist between predictions of their elastic response and experimental results. This undermines confidence in the ability to reliably design and certify novel blade designs that include self-regulating features like bend-twist coupling To address these discrepancies, this study investigates the influence of manufacturing tolerances on the compliance properties of blade cross-sections, focusing specifically on a previously disregarded feature: the trailing edge bond-line. To conduct this investigation, the validated cross-sectional modelling tools BECAS and VABS are used to demonstrate that even small geometric variations can have significant influence on cross-sectional stiffness properties. The results are further examined and substantiated through the utilisation of 3D finite element models, adopting both shell and solid elements. We conclude that an accurate geometric representation of the cross-section is necessary to adequately capture the shear flow within it and assure accurate predictions on cross-sectional stiffness properties.

Vincent Karel Maes et al.

Status: open (until 01 Oct 2023)

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Vincent Karel Maes et al.

Data sets

Sensitivity of Cross-sectional Compliance Terms to Manufacturing Tolerances for Wind Turbine Blades Alberto Pirrera, Terence Macquart, Vincent Maes

Vincent Karel Maes et al.


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Short summary
Wind turbines deal with significant loads that limit the lifetime of the blades. To aid in this, blades can be designed to be compliant in a manner that reduces the peak loads it experiences. One such approach is to use bend-twist coupling. However, as this paper documents, the behavior of blades with bend-twist coupling can be very sensitive to manufacturing tolerances. Understanding these sensitivities allows for better design and manufacturing practices to be developed.