Gravo-Aeroelastic Scaling for Extreme-Scale Wind Turbines

Lee Fingersh, Eric Loth, Meghan Kaminski, Chao Qin, D. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


A scaling methodology is described in the present paper for extreme-scale wind turbines (rated at 10 MW or more) that allow their sub-scale turbines to capture their key blade dynamics and aeroelastic deflections. For extreme-scale turbines, such deflections and dynamics can be substantial and are primarily driven by centrifugal, thrust and gravity forces as well as the net torque. Each of these are in turn a function of various wind conditions, including turbulence levels that cause shear, veer, and gust loads. The 13.2 MW rated SNL100-03 rotor design, having a blade length of 100-meters, is herein scaled to the CART3 wind turbine at NREL using 25% geometric scaling and blade mass and wind speed scaled by gravo-aeroelastic constraints. In order to mimic the ultralight structure on the advanced concept extreme-scale design the scaling results indicate that the gravoaeroelastically scaled blades for the CART3 are be three times lighter and 25% longer than the current CART3 blades. A benefit of this scaling approach is that the scaled wind speeds needed for testing are reduced (in this case by a factor of two), allowing testing under extreme gust conditions to be much more easily achieved. Most importantly, this scaling approach can investigate extreme-scale concepts including dynamic behaviors and aeroelastic deflections (including flutter) at an extremely small fraction of the full-scale cost.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2017
Event35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20179 Jun 2017


Conference35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by Eric Loth, Meghan Kaminski, Chao Qin, Lee Jay Fingersh and D.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-68978


  • aerodynamics
  • aeroelasticity
  • gravitation
  • turbomachine blades
  • wind effects
  • wind turbines


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