Chapter 11
Structural Dynamic Behavior of Wind Turbines


The structural dynamicist's areas of responsibility require interaction with most other members of the wind turbine project team. These responsibilities are to predict structural loads and deflections that will occur over the lifetime of the machine, ensure favorable dynamic responses through appropriate design and operational procedures, evaluate potential design improvements for their impact on dynamic loads and stability, and correlate load and control test data with design predictions. Load prediction has been a major concern in wind turbine designs to date, and it is perhaps the single most important task faced by the structural dynamics engineer. However, even if we were able to predict all loads perfectly, this in itself would not lead to an economic system. Reduction of dynamic loads, not merely a “design to loads” policy, is required to achieve a cost-effective design.

The two processes of load prediction and structural design are highly interactive: loads and deflections must be known before designers and stress analysts can perform structural sizing, which in turn influences the loads through changes in stiffness and mass. Structural design identifies “hot spots” (local areas of high stress) that would benefit most from dynamic load alleviation. Convergence of this cycle leads to a turbine structure that is neither under-designed (which may result in structural failure), nor over-designed (which will lead to excessive weight and cost).

  • Introduction
  • Dynamic Load Model of a HAWT Blade
  • Natural Vibration Modes in a Wind Turbine
  • Finite Element Modal Analysis of a VAWT
  • Sample Theoretical Modal Analysis
  • Sample Experimental Modal Analysis
  • Development of Natural Wind Excitation Testing
  • Comparison of NExT Test Data from a Rotating VAWT to Simulated Data
  • Classical Aeroelastic Flutter Analysis for HAWTs and VAWTs
  • References

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