Photo: Timm Becker

Wind Turbine Structures and Component Design (SAC)

The section focuses on the design and prediction of structural response of the turbine and its components and deals with structural design and optimization as well as reliability and loads. 

The Section for Wind Turbine Structures and Component Design focuses on the design and prediction of the structural response of wind turbines and their components. The research and innovation activities deal with loads and their dependence on environmental conditions, structural design structural and testing, and methods to quantify reliability and operational lifetime. Our research and innovation are generally implemented in cooperation with industry. The research includes development of advanced mathematical models, testing methods, and efficient numerical optimization methods for reliable structural design of wind turbine components. SAC runs and develops the full-scale blade and Drivetrain Test Facilities, and is scientifically responsible for the construction of a new Large-Scale Structural Test Facility.

SAC is responsible for several MSc courses on analysis and design of composite structures as well as probabilistic design. SAC also provides research-based fact-finding and advisory services to national and international authorities, for example on technical requirements and follow-up, strategies, and planning for the wind power sector. In SAC, the main research focus can be divided into four areas, namely: Loads and Structural Integrity, Structural Design and Testing, Structural and Multi-Disciplinary Optimization, and Active Materials for Wind Turbine Generators.

Loads and Structural Integrity
The Loads and Structural Integrity team focuses on the prediction and validation of design loads with site-specific measurements and the standardization of methods to design wind turbine structures to target reliability levels. Specific investigations on offshore wind turbine design—especially towards the reliability of offshore support structures and drivetrains—are also being made. Furthermore, new concepts for offshore wind turbines with fixed/floating support structures for medium (20-60 m) or large (>100 m) water depths are being developed.

Structural Design and Testing
The Structural Design and Testing team develops methods for predicting the structural response of large structures subjected to complex loading. We do research in understanding failure mechanisms and progressive damage. We develop testing methods and measuring equipment for testing at full scale and for testing parts of structures.

Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
The Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization team mainly focuses on development of mathematical models and numerical methods for optimal design of entire load-carrying structures. Applications include structural optimization of the primary steel design for offshore support structures such as jackets, suction buckets, and monopiles. Current capabilities include optimal conceptual and preliminary design of jackets for large water depths (+50 metres). Other applications include structural optimization of the load-carrying parts of wind turbine blades using the powerful approach of topology optimization. Multidisciplinary optimization is another emerging field in the team with applications in, e.g., optimal design of corrosion protection for offshore support structures.

Active Materials for wind Turbine Generators:
The active materials for wind turbine generators team is focused on understanding the properties of rare earth element-iron–boron permanent magnets as well as modern superconductors with the purpose to propose new generator designs and to evaluate the impact on the levelize cost of energy from such turbines. An activity within recycling of sintered R-Fe-B permanent magnets is also performed in order to propose circular materials flow in the wind sector.



Head of Section

Ignacio Martí
Head of Section
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 54 67