DOI: 10.3390/pr12010022 ISSN: 2227-9717

Aerostructural Design Optimization of Wind Turbine Blades

Sagidolla Batay, Aigerim Baidullayeva, Yong Zhao, Dongming Wei, Akerke Baigarina, Erkhan Sarsenov, Yerkin Shabdan
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering

This study presents an aerostructural optimization process for wind turbine blades aimed at enhancing the turbine’s performance. The optimization framework integrates DAFoam as the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver, TACS as the finite element method (FEM) solver, Mphys for fluid–structure coupling, and SNOPT as the optimizer within the OpenMDAO framework. The objective is to simultaneously increase the torque generated by the wind turbine while decreasing the mass of the blade, thereby improving its efficiency. The design variables in this optimization process are the blade shape and panel thickness. The aerodynamic objective function is torque, a key performance indicator for wind turbine efficiency. The structural objective function is the blade mass, as reducing mass is essential to minimize material and manufacturing costs. The optimization process utilizes the integrated capabilities of DAFoam, TACS, Mphys, and SNOPT to iteratively evaluate and modify the blade shape and panel thickness. The OpenMDAO framework facilitates seamless communication between the solvers and the optimizer, ensuring a well-coordinated, efficient optimization process. The results of the optimization show a 6.78% increase in torque, which indicates a significant improvement in the wind turbine’s energy production capacity. Additionally, a 4.22% decrease in blade mass demonstrates a successful reduction in material usage without compromising structural integrity. These findings highlight the potential of the proposed aerostructural optimization process to enhance the performance and cost-effectiveness of wind turbine blades, contributing to the advancement of sustainable energy solutions. This work represents the first attempt to implement DAFoam for wind turbine aerostructural design optimization.

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