Progress Report on the Characterization and Modeling of a Very Flexible Wind Turbine Design

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The combination of increasing turbine rotor diameters and the desire to achieve long lifetimes has placed increased emphasis on understanding the response of flexible turbine structures in a turbulent inflow environment. One approach to increase fatigue lifetimes has been to design structures that can either shed or adequately absorb turbulent loads through the use of flexible rotors and supporttowers, and hubs and nacelles that exhibit multiple degrees of angular freedom. The inevitable result in such designs is a substantial increase in dynamic complexity. In order to develop a sufficient knowledge of such concepts, extensive measurements coupled with detailed analytical simulations of a flexible turbine design are required. The Wind Eagle 300 turbine, with its lightweight flexiblerotor and hub, meets these criteria and is currently being investigated.; ; In this paper we discuss a few early results from our recently completed field measurement effort. We found that the turbine rotor response was dominated by a once-per-revolution oscillation that was responsible for large cyclic variations in the output power. The available evidence points to a rotor imbalance related tostructural differences in one of the blades and a misalignment of the pitch angles. We also compared the variation in mean out-of-plane bending loads with wind speed with a conventional rigid hub design.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1998
EventASME/AIAA Wind Energy Symposium - Reno, Nevada
Duration: 11 Jan 199914 Jan 1999


ConferenceASME/AIAA Wind Energy Symposium
CityReno, Nevada

Bibliographical note

Also available electronically

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-25513


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