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Title: Integrated Design of Downwind Land-Based Wind Turbines using Analytic Gradients

Wind turbines are complex systems where component-level changes can have significant system-level effects. Effective wind turbine optimization generally requires an integrated analysis approach with a large number of design variables. Optimizing across large variable sets is orders of magnitude more efficient with gradient-based methods as compared with gradient-free method, particularly when using exact gradients. We have developed a wind turbine analysis set of over 100 components where 90% of the models provide numerically exact gradients through symbolic differentiation, automatic differentiation, and adjoint methods. This framework is applied to a specific design study focused on downwind land-based wind turbines. Downwind machines are of potential interest for large wind turbines where the blades are often constrained by the stiffness required to prevent a tower strike. The mass of these rotor blades may be reduced by utilizing a downwind configuration where the constraints on tower strike are less restrictive. The large turbines of this study range in power rating from 5-7MW and in diameter from 105m to 175m. The changes in blade mass and power production have important effects on the rest of the system, and thus the nacelle and tower systems are also optimized. For high-speed wind sites, downwind configurations do notmore » appear advantageous. The decrease in blade mass (10%) is offset by increases in tower mass caused by the bending moment from the rotor-nacelle-assembly. For low-wind speed sites, the decrease in blade mass is more significant (25-30%) and shows potential for modest decreases in overall cost of energy (around 1-2%).« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1099-1824
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Wind energy (Chichester, England. Online); Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 12
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Country of Publication:
United States
17 WIND ENERGY; integrated turbine design; analytic gradients; downwind rotors; upwind rotors; blade optimization; wind turbine optimization