Photoelastic Stress Analysis on a Phoenix 7.9-Meter Blade

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Photoelastic tests were conducted on the Phoenix 7 .9-meter blade to develop the basic methodology for locating critical strain areas on full-scale composite structures. Under relatively low elastic loading the strain fields over various regions on the blade planform were documented with 35mm photographs under different loading conditions at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) StructuralTest Facility (STF). Strain concentrations were easily located and quantified. Principal strain magnitudes and directions were determined at the highest strain areas using separator gages. Results were compared to measured operating loads. This experiment demonstrated the value of experimental stress analysis using the photoelastic technique for the evaluation of composite blade designs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1991

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-257-4512


  • critical strain areas
  • Phoenix 7.9-meter blade
  • photoelastic stress analysis


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