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3 April 2012 Probabilistic characterization of wind turbine blades via aeroelasticity and spinning finite element formulation
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Wind energy is an increasingly important component of this nation's renewable energy portfolio, however safe and economical wind turbine operation is a critical need to ensure continued adoption. Safe operation of wind turbine structures requires not only information regarding their condition, but their operational environment. Given the difficulty inherent in SHM processes for wind turbines (damage detection, location, and characterization), some uncertainty in conditional assessment is expected. Furthermore, given the stochastic nature of the loading on turbine structures, a probabilistic framework is appropriate to characterize their risk of failure at a given time. Such information will be invaluable to turbine controllers, allowing them to operate the structures within acceptable risk profiles. This study explores the characterization of the turbine loading and response envelopes for critical failure modes of the turbine blade structures. A framework is presented to develop an analytical estimation of the loading environment (including loading effects) based on the dynamic behavior of the blades. This is influenced by behaviors including along and across-wind aero-elastic effects, wind shear gradient, tower shadow effects, and centrifugal stiffening effects. The proposed solution includes methods that are based on modal decomposition of the blades and require frequent updates to the estimated modal properties to account for the time-varying nature of the turbine and its environment. The estimated demand statistics are compared to a code-based resistance curve to determine a probabilistic estimate of the risk of blade failure given the loading environment.
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Antonio Velazquez and R. Andrew Swartz "Probabilistic characterization of wind turbine blades via aeroelasticity and spinning finite element formulation", Proc. SPIE 8345, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2012, 83451N (3 April 2012);

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