Demonstration of the Ability of RCAS to Model Wind Turbines; ;

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In recent years, the wind industry has sponsored the development, verification, and validation of comprehensive aeroelastic simulators, which are used for wind turbine design, certification, and research. Unfortunately, as wind turbines continue to grow in size and sometimes exhibit unconventional design characteristics, the existing codes do not always support the additional analysis featuresrequired for proper design. The development history, functionality, and advanced nature of RCAS (Rotorcraft Comprehensive Analysis System) make this code a sensible option. RCAS is an aeroelastic simulator developed over a 4-year cooperative effort amongst the U.S. Army's Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, Advanced Rotorcraft Technology (ART), Inc., and the helicopter industry. As its namesuggests, RCAS was created for the rotorcraft industry but developed as a general purpose code for modeling the aerodynamic and structural response of any system with rotating and nonrotating subsystems (such as wind turbines). To demonstrate that RCAS can analyze wind turbines, models of a conventional, 1.5-MW, 3-bladed, upwind, horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) are created in RCAS and windturbine analysis codes FAST (Fatigue, Aerodynamics, Structures, and Turbulence) and ADAMS (Automatic Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems). Using these models, a side-by-side comparison of structural response predictions is performed under several test scenarios.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2003

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-34632


  • areoelastic simulators
  • fast
  • modeling
  • RCAS
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine


Dive into the research topics of 'Demonstration of the Ability of RCAS to Model Wind Turbines; ;'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this