PhD Defense by Auraluck Pichitkul
(Advisor: Prof. Lakshmi Sankar]
will defend a doctoral thesis entitled
A UNIFIED APPROACH FOR MODELING FLUID-STRUCTURE INTERACTIONS OF
LARGE-SCALE OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES
Friday, July 9 at 9 a.m.
Wind turbine technology has grown over the past several decades and has been globally accepted as an economically viable form of renewable energy. Further development in size and power production of wind turbine demands continuous advances in the underlying technologies - aerodynamics, structures, engineering materials, aeroelasticity, electrical systems, mechanical and hydraulic control, and manufacturing. In this study, focus is placed on two aspects of these technologies – aerodynamics and structures – with the primary goal of economically and accurately predicting the power production of very large-scale flexible wind turbines.
To fulfill the first objective, a loose-coupling technique relying on an in-house hybrid CFD solver, and an in-house Euler-Bernoulli CSD solver is developed and used in investigating aeroelastic behavior of a large-scale offshore wind turbine. A 5 MW wind turbine system developed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is analyzed. The aerodynamic loads predicted by GT-Hybrid and the elastic deformations computed by the CFD solver are exchanged using file I/O. The study shows that the NREL 5 MW rotor undergoes significant bending deformations, especially at rated wind speeds. The loss of performance, in terms of power production, therefore, needs to be accounted while performing analyses.
To satisfy the second objective of exploring alternative design for large-scale offshore wind turbines, a biplane rotor concept proposed by Wirz, et. al. at the University of California Los Angeles is explored. The study shows that that biplane rotors, with a reduced chord, are effective in producing power comparable to conventional wind turbines at rated condition with considerable mass and cost savings.
- Prof. Lakshmi Sankar – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor)
- Prof. Jechiel Jagoda – School of Aerospace Engineering
- Prof. JVR Prasad – School of Aerospace Engineering
- Professor Mayuresh Patil – School of Aerospace Engineering
- Prof. Philip Griffin – University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
- Prof. Richard Wirz, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA