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Title: Structural Testing of the Blade Reliability Collaborative Effect of Defect Wind Turbine Blades

Two 8.3-meter (m) wind turbine blades intentionally constructed with manufacturing flaws were tested to failure at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) south of Boulder, Colorado. Two blades were tested; one blade was manufactured with a fiberglass spar cap and the second blade was manufactured with a carbon fiber spar cap. Test loading primarily consisted of flap fatigue loading of the blades, with one quasi-static ultimate load case applied to the carbon fiber spar cap blade. Results of the test program were intended to provide the full-scale test data needed for validation of model and coupon test results of the effect of defects in wind turbine blade composite materials. Testing was part of the Blade Reliability Collaborative (BRC) led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The BRC seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the causes of unexpected blade failures (Paquette 2012), and to develop methods to enable blades to survive to their expected operational lifetime. Recent work in the BRC includes examining and characterizing flaws and defects known to exist in wind turbine blades from manufacturing processes (Riddle et al. 2011). Recent results from reliability databases show that wind turbine rotor blades continuemore » to be a leading contributor to turbine downtime (Paquette 2012).« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Contributing Orgs:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Country of Publication:
United States
17 WIND ENERGY Wind turbine; blade effects; blade defects; structural testing; NWTC; NREL