SEMINAR: Morphing and Fluid-Structure Load-Alignment for Extreme Scale Wind Turbine Design
September 21 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fluid-structure Interaction on wind turbines are critical to their design and cost of energy, especially in the category of extreme-scale wind turbines (≥ 10-MW). A new concept is proposed which employs a downwind rotor with blades whose elements are relatively stiff (no intentional flexibility) but with hub-joints that can be unlocked to allow for moment-free downwind alignment. Aligning the combination of gravitational, centrifugal, and thrust forces along the blade path reduces downwind cantilever loads, resulting in primarily tensile loading. Aeroelastic analysis and unsteady simulations (e.g. at gust and off-design conditions) indicate this concept is feasible and may allow the world’s largest wind turbine. The first gravo-aeroealstically scaled wind turbine is planned for field testing in Summer of 2018 at NREL to investigate the ultralight aspects of this concept. However, there there are many challenges regarding tower shadow, blade segmentation, morphing mechanics and levelized cost of energy reduction.
Dr. Eric Loth is the Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and serves as the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Engineering at the University of Virginia. He has received honors and awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation while also being named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and of Cambridge University.