Wind turbines Structures

The research of the Wind Turbines Section supports the industrial design of wind turbines covering three topics:

We develop methods to determine reliable design loads and structural design of wind turbines with emphasis on reducing the risk of failure.

This involves the modelling and analysis of structural components such as blades, drive trains and support structure. We also model and analyse the extreme environmental conditions of waves and wind for offshore turbines. Validations with full scale measurements and lab scale measurements are performed on the predicted loads and structural response.

We develop methods and tools to predict structural response of the turbine and its components. The tools range from coarse beam models to very detailed 3D solid finite element models. Materials include composites and metals with special focus on imperfections and damage initiation/growth.

Structural test methods are developed to improve the design process and reduce structural uncertainties. To validate the developed methods and tools we use blade and drive train test facilities.

Furthermore, the section develops advanced design methods which can be used in the industry. Part of the research is focused on development and implementation of advanced models and efficient numerical optimisation methods used for rational structural design of wind turbine components. The design criteria in the formulations include weight, cost, stiffness strength etc.


Examples of applications are optimal design of jacket foundations for offshore wind turbines and of laminated composite structures such as wind turbine blades where manufacturing limitations are taken into account.

Beams Stress v Mises