The design of the main structure of a wind turbine blade is optimized aiming at the improvement of the overall dynamic performance. Three optimization strategies are developed and tested. The first fundamental one is based on minimizing the total structural mass of the blade spar under frequency and strength constraints. The second and third strategies are concerned with the reduction of the overall vibration level by either minimizing a frequency-placement index or maximizing the natural frequencies and placing them at their target values to avoid large amplitudes and resonance occurrence. Design variables include cross-sectional dimensions and material properties along the spanwise direction of the blade spar. The optimization problem is formulated as a nonlinear constrained problem solved by sequential quadratic programming (SQP) technique. Two specific layup configurations, namely, circumferentially asymmetric stiffness ( CAS ) and circumferentially uniform stiffness ( CUS ), are analyzed. Exact analytical methods are applied to calculate the natural modes of vibration of a composite, thin-walled, tapered blade spar. The influence of coupling on the vibration modes is identified, and the functional behavior of the frequencies with the lamination parameters is thoroughly investigated and discussed. Finite element modeling using NX Nastran solver is performed in order to validate the analytical results. As a case study, optimized blade spar designs of a 750-kW horizontal axis wind turbine are given. The attained solutions show that the approach used in this study enhances the dynamic characteristics of the optimized spar structures as compared with a known baseline design of the wind turbine blade.
Part of the book: Design Optimization of Wind Energy Conversion Systems with Applications