Wind Turbine Aeroelastic Stability in OpenFAST: Article No. 022018

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Wind turbines are growing in size and increasingly suffer from aeroelastic instabilities. Unfortunately, numerical models often show inconsistent results during verification studies. We address this gap by first introducing novel linearization capabilities within the open-source aero-hydro-servo-elastic framework OpenFAST. Next, a code-to-code benchmark study is presented that compares modal parameters between OpenFAST and HAWCStab2 for a land-based version of the International Energy Agency 15-MW reference wind turbine modeled with quasi-steady aerodynamics. The two solvers are in strong agreement except for discrepancies in the second rotor flapwise modes. The differences are attributed to the torsional flexibility of the tower, which is assumed torsionally stiff in the OpenFAST model. Work is ongoing to close this modeling gap. The aeroelastic stability of a low-specific-power land-based wind turbine is also investigated. The impact of design choices is discussed, high-lighting how narrow the margins are between a stable design and an unstable design.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-88266


  • aeroelastic stability
  • big adaptive rotor
  • fatigue
  • HAWCStab2
  • instability
  • OpenFAST
  • wind turbine blade design


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