Uncertainty Quantification of the Effects of Blade Damage on the Actual Energy Production of Modern Wind Turbines

Francesco Papi, Lorenzo Capugi, Simone Salvadori, Mauro Carnevale, Alessandro Bianchini

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Wind turbine blade deterioration issues have come to the attention of researchers and manufacturers due to the relevant impact they can have on the actual annual energy production (AEP). Research has shown how after prolonged exposure to hail, rain, insects or other abrasive particles, the outer surface of wind turbine blades deteriorates. This leads to increased surface roughness and material loss. The trailing edge (TE) of the blade is also often damaged during assembly and transportation according to industry veterans. This study aims at investigating the loss of AEP and efficiency of modern multi-MW wind turbines due to such issues using uncertainty quantification. Such an approach is justified by the stochastic and widely different environmental conditions in which wind turbines are installed. These cause uncertainties regarding the blade’s conditions. To this end, the test case selected for the study is the DTU 10 MW RWT, a modern reference turbine with a rated power of 10 MW. Blade damage is modelled through shape modification of the turbine’s airfoils. This is done with a purposely developed numerical tool. Lift and drag coefficients for the damaged airfoils are calculated using computational fluid dynamics. The resulting lift and drag coefficients are used in an aero-servo-elastic model of the wind turbine using NREL’s code OpenFAST. An arbitrary polynomial chaos expansion method is used to estimate the probability distributions of AEP and power output of the model when blade damage is present. Average AEP losses of around 1% are predicted mainly due to leading-edge blade damage. Results show that the proposed method is able to account for the uncertainties and to give more meaningful information with respect to the simulation of a single test case.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3785
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


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