Parked Aeroelastic Field Rotor Response for a 20% Scaled Demonstrator of a 13-MW Downwind Turbine

Meghan Kaminski, Eric Loth, Lee Fingersh, Andrew Scholbrock, Michael Selig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Aeroelastic parked testing of a unique downwind two-bladed subscale rotor was completed to characterize the response of an extreme-scale 13-MW turbine in high-wind parked conditions. A 20% geometric scaling was used resulting in scaled 20-m-long blades, whose structural and stiffness properties were designed using aeroelastic scaling to replicate the nondimensional structural aeroelastic deflections and dynamics that would occur for a lightweight, downwind 13-MW rotor. The subscale rotor was mounted and field tested on the two-bladed Controls Advanced Research Turbine (CART2) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Flatiron Campus (NREL FC). The parked testing of these highly flexible blades included both pitch-to-run and pitch-to-feather configurations with the blades in the horizontal braked orientation. The collected experimental data includes the unsteady flapwise root bending moments and tip deflections as a function of inflow wind conditions. The bending moments are based on strain gauges located in the root section, whereas the tip deflections are captured by a video camera on the hub of the turbine pointed toward the tip of the blade. The experimental results are compared against computational predictions generated by FAST, a wind turbine simulation software, for the subscale and full-scale models with consistent unsteady wind fields. FAST reasonably predicted the bending moments and deflections of the experimental data in terms of both the mean and standard deviations. These results demonstrate the efficacy of the first such aeroelastically scaled turbine test and demonstrate that a highly flexible lightweight downwind coned rotor can be designed to withstand extreme loads in parked conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)182-200
Number of pages19
JournalWind Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Wind Energy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-80696


  • downwind
  • extreme-scale
  • field testing
  • flexible blades
  • gravo-aeroelastic scaling
  • parked
  • wind turbine


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