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Finite-Element-Analysis (FEA)

The design of cost optimized structural components requests the detailed knowledge of stress and strain distribution in the components. The FE analysis at aerodyn takes into account all important parameters and conditions which are effecting the results such as non-linear effects, contact interfaces to other surrounding components and new methods for time series based stress analysis. We have been able to optimize and reduce the component masses significantly by applying these new methods of component design.

At aerodyn, all relevant structural components of a wind turbine undergo finite element simulation, in most cases ANSYS™ software is used. Hence the stresses and deformations of the components are known at a very early stage of the design process and can be optimized within the project deadlines.

For fatigue calculation, aerodyn has developed in-house software tools. The components are subjected to the full load time series that runs the whole time a wind turbine is in operation. This permits quite a good estimation of the component lifetime and makes further mass and cost optimization possible.

Of course, optimization is not just done by experience and guessing; in fact, aerodyn has at its disposal a variety of optimization software, partly programmed in-house, partly purchased externally, for example Altair Optistruct™.

It should be emphasized that aerodyn applies FEA also to the design of composite components such as rotor blades and nacelle covers. Very detailed knowledge of the stress and strain level in each composite layer as well as a good prediction of inter fiber failure lead to remarkable weight and cost savings for the composite parts.

Last but not least, the finite element analysis at aerodyn also includes fracture mechanics, especially the prediction of crack behaviour in metallic components.