Aeroelastic validation and Bayesian updating of a downwind wind turbine

Rakesh Sarma*, Richard P. Dwight, Axelle Viré

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


Downwind wind turbine blades are subjected to tower wake forcing at every rotation, which can lead to structural fatigue. Accurate characterisation of the unsteady aeroelastic forces in the blade design phase requires detailed representation of the aerodynamics, leading to computationally expensive simulation codes, which lead to intractable uncertainty analysis and Bayesian updating. In this paper, a framework is developed to tackle this problem. Full, detailed aeroelastic model of an experimental wind turbine system based on 3-D Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes is developed, considering all structural components including nacelle and tower. This model is validated against experimental measurements of rotating blades, and a detailed aeroelastic characterisation is presented. Aerodynamic forces from prescribed forced-motion simulations are used to train a time-domain autoregressive with exogenous input (ARX) model with a localised forcing term, which provides accurate and cheap aeroelastic forces. Employing ARX, prior uncertainties in the structural and rotational parameters of the wind turbine are introduced and propagated to obtain probabilistic estimates of the aeroelastic characteristics. Finally, the experimental validation data are used in a Bayesian framework to update the structural and rotational parameters of the system and thereby reduce uncertainty in the aeroelastic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-883
Number of pages20
JournalWind Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • aeroelasticity
  • reduced order modelling
  • uncertainty quantification
  • wind turbine


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