Prediction of structural reliability and its application to increase the efficiency of rotor blades


Funding:  Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Partner: Leibniz University Hanover, DTU Wind energy, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, LM Wind Power A/S, IBM Denmark ApS, FORCE Technology, Siemens Industry Software NV (SISW), CEKO Sensors ApS, Dantec Dynamics GmbH, Blade Test Centre A/S (BLAEST), Zebicon A/S, Olsen Wings A/S and DTU Compute
Duration: 11/2018 – 10/2023


For the project, researchers will develop a blade design for a 40 meter blade. This will serve as a blueprint for manufacturing two blades at Fraunhofer IWES and challenge them in experimental tests at the Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) in order to intentionally damage them under controlled conditions. 

To cover a wide range of different damage modes, the two rotor blades for testing will encompass production errors such as inferior bond lines and damage in the composite or sandwich materials. The test blades will then be sent to the project partner DTU Wind Energy, where the behavior of the damaged parts will be assessed in a Full scale blade tests.

The project partners also plan on conducting subcomponent tests and developing fatigue models as well as damage prediction methods. With ReliaBlade, the project partners are making a decisive contribution to improve the structural reliability of rotor blades. That is important, as rotor blades constitute a large share of the turbine costs and their repair and service costs are relatively high. The results obtained will allow the industry to make progress towards improving cost-efficiency, cutting energy production costs and increasing its competitiveness internationally.

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© Pascal Behning