Mechanical Design, Analysis, and Testing of a Two-Bladed Wind Turbine Hub

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Researchers at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) in Golden, Colorado, began performing the Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment in 1993 to better understand the unsteady aerodynamics and structural responses of horizontal-axis wind turbines. The experiment consists of an extensively instrumented, downwind, three-bladed, 20-kilowatt wind turbine. In May 1995, I received a request from theNWTC to design a two-bladed hub for the experiment. For my thesis, I present the results of the mechanical design, analysis, and testing of the hub. The hub I designed is unique because it runs in rigid, teetering, or independent blade-flapping modes. In addition, the design is unusual because it uses two servomotors to pitch the blades independently. These features are used to investigate newload reduction, noise reduction, blade pitch optimization, and yaw control techniques for two-bladed turbines. I used a methodology by G. Phal and W. Bietz to design the hub. The hub meets all the performance specifications except that it achieves only 90% of the specified teeter range. In my thesis, I focus on the analysis and testing of the hub body. I performed solid-mechanics calculations,ran a finite-element analysis simulation, and experimentally investigated the structural integrity of the hub body.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages89
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-26645


  • mechanical design
  • turbine testing
  • two-bladed wind turbine hub
  • wind research
  • wind turbines


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