Validation of a modeling methodology for wind turbine rotor blades based on a full-scale blade test
Detailed 3D finite-element simulations are state of the art for structural analyses of wind turbine rotor blades. It is of utmost importance to validate the underlying modeling methodology in order to obtain reliable results. Validation of the global response can ideally be done by comparing simulations with full-scale blade tests. However, there is a lack of test results for which also the finite-element model with blade geometry and layup as well as the test documentation and results are completely available. The aim of this paper is to validate the presented fully parameterized blade modeling methodology that is implemented in an in-house model generator and to provide respective test results for validation purpose to the public. This methodology includes parameter definition based on splines for all design and material parameters, which enables fast and easy parameter analysis. A hybrid 3D shell/solid element model is created including the respective boundary conditions. The problem is solved via a commercially available finite-element code. A static full-scale blade test is performed, which is used as the validation reference. All information, e.g., on sensor location, displacement, and strains, is available to reproduce the tests. The tests comprise classical bending tests in flapwise and lead-lag directions according to IEC 61400-23 as well as torsion tests. For the validation of the modeling methodology, global blade characteristics from measurements and simulation are compared. These include the overall mass and center of gravity location, as well as their distributions along the blade, bending deflections, strain levels, and natural frequencies and modes. Overall, the global results meet the defined validation thresholds during bending, though some improvements are required for very local analysis and especially the response in torsion. As a conclusion, the modeling strategy can be rated as validated, though necessary improvements are highlighted for future works.