Structural Testing of the North Wind 250 Composite Rotor Joint

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The North Wind 250 wind turbine is under development at Northern Power Systems (NPS) in Moretown, VT. The turbine uses a unique, flow-through, teetered-rotor design. This design eliminates structural discontinuities at the blade/hub interface by fabricating the rotor as one continuous structural element. To accomplish this, the two blade spars are joined at the center of the rotor using aproprietary bonding technique. Fatigue tests were conducted on the full-scale rotor joint at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Subsequent tests are now underway to test the full-scale rotor and hub assembly to verify the design assumptions. The test articles were mounted in dedicated test fixtures. For the joint test, a constant moment was generated across the joint and parentmaterial. Hydraulic actuators applied sinusoidal loading to the test article at levels equivalent to 90% of the extreme wind load for over one million cycles. When the loading was increased to 112% of the extreme wind load, the joint failed by buckling. Strain levels were monitored at 14 locations inside and outside of the blade joint during the test. The tests were used to qualify this criticalelement of the rotor for field testing and to provide information needed to improve the structural design of the joint.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1994

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-441-6619


  • fatigue testing
  • flow-through teetered-rotor design
  • structural design


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