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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2017-14
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research articles
21 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES).
Probabilistic Design of Wind Turbine Blades with Treatment of Manufacturing Defects as Uncertainty Variables in a Framework
Trey W. Riddle1, Jared W. Nelson2, and Douglas S. Cairns3 1Sunstrand, LLC, Louisville, KY, USA
2SUNY New Paltz, Division of Engineering Programs, New Paltz, NY, USA
3Montana State University, Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Bozeman, MT, USA
Abstract. Given that wind turbine blades are such large structures, the use of low-cost composite manufacturing processes and materials has been necessary for the industry to be cost competitive. Since these manufacturing methods can lead to inclusion of unwanted defects, potentially reducing blade life, the Blade Reliability Collaborative tasked the Montana State University Composites Group with assessing the effects of these defects. Utilizing the results of characterization and mechanical testing studies, probabilistic models were developed to assess the reliability of a wind blade with known defects. As such, defects were found to best be assessed as design parameters in a parametric probabilistic analysis allowing for establishment of a consistent framework to validate categorization and analysis. Monte Carlo simulations were found to adequately describe the probability of failure of composite blades with included defects. By treating defects as random variables, the approaches utilized indicate the level of conservation used in blade design may be reduced when considering fatigue. In turn, safety factors may be reduced as some of the uncertainty surrounding blade failure is reduced when analysed with application specific data. Overall, the results indicate that characterization of defects and reduction of design uncertainty is possible for wind turbine blades.

Citation: Riddle, T. W., Nelson, J. W., and Cairns, D. S.: Probabilistic Design of Wind Turbine Blades with Treatment of Manufacturing Defects as Uncertainty Variables in a Framework, Wind Energ. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2017-14, in review, 2017.
Trey W. Riddle et al.
Trey W. Riddle et al.
Trey W. Riddle et al.

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Short summary
The Department of Energy sponsored, Sandia National Laboratory led, Blade Reliability Collaborative was formed to address wind turbine blade reliability. Utilizing the results of characterization and mechanical testing studies, probabilistic models were developed to assess the reliability of a wind blade with known defects. By treating defects as random variables the results indicate that characterization of defects and reduction of design uncertainty is possible for wind turbine blades.
The Department of Energy sponsored, Sandia National Laboratory led, Blade Reliability...
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