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Structural Optimization Design of Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine Blades Using a Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm and Finite Element Method

by Xin Cai 1,2, Jie Zhu 1,*, Pan Pan 1 and Rongrong Gu 1
1
College of Mechanics and Materials, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2012, 5(11), 4683-4696; https://doi.org/10.3390/en5114683
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 8 November 2012 / Accepted: 12 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
This paper presents an optimization method for the structural design of horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) blades based on the particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO) combined with the finite element method (FEM). The main goal is to create an optimization tool and to demonstrate the potential improvements that could be brought to the structural design of HAWT blades. A multi-criteria constrained optimization design model pursued with respect to minimum mass of the blade is developed. The number and the location of layers in the spar cap and the positions of the shear webs are employed as the design variables, while the strain limit, blade/tower clearance limit and vibration limit are taken into account as the constraint conditions. The optimization of the design of a commercial 1.5 MW HAWT blade is carried out by combining the above method and design model under ultimate (extreme) flap-wise load conditions. The optimization results are described and compared with the original design. It shows that the method used in this study is efficient and produces improved designs. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural optimization design; horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) blades; blade mass; particle swarm optimization (PSO); finite element method (FEM) structural optimization design; horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) blades; blade mass; particle swarm optimization (PSO); finite element method (FEM)
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Cai, X.; Zhu, J.; Pan, P.; Gu, R. Structural Optimization Design of Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbine Blades Using a Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm and Finite Element Method. Energies 2012, 5, 4683-4696.

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