The effect of the nonlinear velocity and history dependencies of the aerodynamic force on the dynamic response of a rotating wind turbine blade

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Existing models for the analysis of offshore wind turbines account for the aerodynamic action on the turbine rotor in detail, requiring a high computational price. When considering the foundation of an offshore wind turbine, however, a reduced rotor model may be sufficient. To define such a model, the significance of the nonlinear velocity and history dependency of the aerodynamic force on a rotating blade should be known. Aerodynamic interaction renders the dynamics of a rotating blade in an ambient wind field nonlinear in terms of the dependency on the wind velocity relative to the structural motion. Moreover, the development in time of the aerodynamic force does not follow the flow velocity instantaneously, implying a history dependency. In addition, both the non-uniform blade geometry and the aerodynamic interaction couple the blade motions in and out of the rotational plane. Therefore, this study presents the Euler–Bernoulli formulation of a twisted rotating blade connected to a rigid hub, excited by either instantaneous or history-dependent aerodynamic forces. On this basis, the importance of the history dependency is determined. Moreover, to assess the nonlinear contributions, both models are linearized. The structural response is computed for a stand-still and a rotating blade, based on the NREL 5-MW turbine. To this end, the model is reduced on the basis of its first three free-vibration mode shapes. Blade tip response predictions, computed from turbulent excitation, correctly account for both modal and directional couplings, and the added damping resulting from the dependency of the aerodynamic force on the structural motion. Considering the deflection of the blade tip, the history-dependent and the instantaneous force models perform equally well, providing a basis for the potential use of the instantaneous model for the rotor reduction. The linearized instantaneous model provides similar results for the rotating blade, indicating its potential application for this scenario, and allowing for the definition of an added damping matrix, applicable for the dynamic analysis of rotating turbine blades
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-209
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue numberNovember
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Rotatingturbineblade
  • Aerodynamicforcing
  • Nonlinear velocitydependency
  • Nonlinear historydependency
  • Directional coupling
  • Modal coupling

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