Wind Blade Material Optimization


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In recent years the wind turbine blade has been the subject of comprehensive study and research amongst all other components of the wind turbine. As our appetite for renewable energy from the wind turbine continues to increase, companies now focus on rotor blades which can go up to 80m in length. The blade material not only have to face large aerodynamic, inertial and fatigue loads but are now being designed to endure environmental effects such as Ultraviolet degradation of surface, accumulation of dust particles at sandy locations, ice accretion on blades in cold countries, insect collision on blades and moisture ingress. All this is considered to ensure that the blades complete its designated life span. Furthermore exponential increase in composite blade manufacturing is causing a substantial amount of unrecyclable material. All these issues raise challenges for wind blade material use, its capacity to solve above mentioned problems and also maintain its structural integrity. This paper takes on this challenge by optimizing from the properties, merits, demerits and cost of different possible competing materials. Then the material is checked for its structural integrity through Finite Element Analysis simulation using standards like IEC-61400-1.This paper also shows the future direction of research by elaborating the influence nanotechnology can have in the improvement of the wind blade.



Edited by:

Honghua Tan






S. Ahmad and Izhar-ul-Haq, "Wind Blade Material Optimization", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 66-68, pp. 1199-1206, 2011

Online since:

July 2011




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