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    The sensitivity of 5MW wind turbine blade sections to the existence of damage

    Algolfat, Amna, Wang, Weizhuo ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1225-4011 and Albarbar, Alhussein ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1484-8224 (2023) The sensitivity of 5MW wind turbine blade sections to the existence of damage. Energies, 16 (3). p. 1367. ISSN 1996-1073

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    Abstract

    Due to the large size of offshore wind turbine blades (OWTBs) and the corrosive nature of salt water, OWTs need to be safer and more reliable that their onshore counterparts. To ensure blade reliability, an accurate and computationally efficient structural dynamic model is an essential ingredient. If damage occurs to the structure, the intrinsic properties will change, e.g., stiffness reduction. Therefore, the blade’s dynamic characteristics will differ from those of the intact ones. Hence, symptoms of the damage are reflected in the dynamic characteristics that can be extracted from the damaged blade. Thus, damage identification in OWTBs has become a significant research focus. In this study, modal model characteristics were used for developing an effective damage detection method for WTBs. The technique was used to identify the performance of the blade’s sections and discover the warning signs of damage. The method was based on a vibration-based technique. It was adopted by investigating the influence of reduced blade element rigidity and its effect on the other blade elements. A computational structural dynamics model using Rayleigh beam theory was employed to investigate the behaviour of each blade section. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 5MW blade benchmark was used to demonstrate the behaviour of different blade elements. Compared to previous studies in the literature, where only the simple structures were used, the present study offers a more comprehensive method to identify damage and determine the performance of complicated WTB sections. This technique can be implemented to identify the damage’s existence, and for diagnosis and decision support. The element most sensitive to damage was element number 14, which is NACA_64_618.

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