A preliminary design methodology for fatigue life prediction of polymer composites for tidal turbine blades

Ciaran R. Kennedy, Sean B. Leen*, Conchúr M Ó Brádaigh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tidal turbine blades experience significant fatigue cycles during operation and it is expected that fatigue strength will be a major consideration in their design. Glass fibre reinforced polymers are a candidate low-cost material for this application. This article presents a methodology for preliminary fatigue design of glass fibre reinforced polymer tidal turbine blades. The methodology combines: (a) a hydrodynamic model for calculation of local distributions of fluid-blade forces; (b) a finite element structural model for prediction of blade strain distributions; (c) a fatigue damage accumulation model, which incorporates mean stress effects; and (d) uniaxial fatigue testing of two candidate glass fibre reinforced polymer materials (for illustrative purposes). The methodology is applied here for the preliminary design of a three-bladed tidal turbine concept, including tower shadow effects, and comparative assessment of pitch- and stall-regulated control with respect to fatigue performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-218
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications
Volume226
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • finite element
  • glass fibre reinforced polymer
  • hydrodynamic
  • Tidal turbine fatigue prediction

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  • Donald Julius Groen Prize 2012

    Kennedy, Ciaran R. (Recipient), Leen, Sean B. (Recipient) & O Bradaigh, Conchur (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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