A robust engineering approach for wind turbine blade profile aeroelastic computation

Document Type: Research Paper


School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Wind turbines are important devices that extract clean energy from wind flow. The efficiency of wind turbines should be examined under various working conditions in order to estimate off-design performance. Numerous aerodynamic and structural research works have been carried out to compute aeroelastic effects on wind turbines. Most of them suffer from either the simplicity of the modelling approach or from the difficulty of the computing technique, which limits the practical applicability of the results. In this research, a robust approach is proposed to compute the aeroelastic behaviour of a horizontal axis wind turbine blade profile for conceptual design purposes. The simplicity and applicability of the approach are the significant points of the research work. Aerodynamic and elastic computations made using XFOIL and MATLAB PDE toolbox. Those tools are linked through an algorithm to interactively compute aeroelastic effects. A real measured time history of wind velocity is used as an input flow condition to simulate a real angle of attack for aeroelastic computation. Investigation of numerical output shows lift and drag coefficient values are lower compared to the corresponding values of the rigid profile. The study of modulus of elasticity value on the separation point location is also conducted, and the delayed stall is observed by decreasing the airfoil rigidity.