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Stresses and frequency shifts in fully extended and folded wind turbine blades




Abdalrwaf, Wael, author
Heyliger, Paul, advisor
Radford, Donald, committee member
Atadero, Rebecca, committee member

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Alternative methods for generating energy have grown in the application in the past few decades. The main objective of this research is to understand the changes in the displacements, stresses, and natural frequencies of fully extended and folded wind turbine blades. A comparative study of the folded blade of fitted properties with the fully extended wind turbine blade was achieved. Folded blades could be more efficient in generating electricity from the wind for turbines with small radii and could be beneficial for transportation purposes. In this study, a basic model of fully extended and folded blades was completed using three-dimensional linear elasticity model and the finite element method. Two different load cases were analyzed to study the conventional and folded blade behaviors. By using the wind load alone, an initial analysis is achieved as the wind load is applied to observe the blade behavior under standard conditions. For more practical consideration, both wind and gravity load were then applied. The study estimates the changes in stresses, displacements, and natural frequencies when the blades are folded and helps better understanding the necessary design parameters of these structures. Finally, free vibration behavior of the folded and extended blades is considered.


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free vibration
fully extended wind turbine blades
folded wind turbine blades
von Mesis stress
frequency mode


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