Developing Nonlinear Models for Aeroservoelastic Behavior of Large-scale Horizontal-axis Wind Turbines

Nota 09 Seminari Mecanica
Sergio Preidikman
Investigador Independiente, CONICET
Profesor Titular, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, UNC
Visiting Professor, University of Maryland at College Park.

Fecha: Miércoles 26 de Julio (Entrada libre – Cupo limitado)
Hora: 4:00 a 5:00PM
Lugar: ML-510


Wind turbine technology has evolved rapidly over the last twenty years. The most obvious manifestation of this development is the exponential increase in machine size. The new large-scale horizontal-axis wind turbines (LHAWT) concepts are paradigm breakers; they have opened the doors to many exciting opportunities for modeling as well as for carrying out innovative and nontraditional designs. Despite the conservativeness in the structural designs of the conceived LHAWT systems, they are lightweight and they have high aspect-ratio blades. The aeroelastic behavior of these blades, which is not quite well understood yet, can have a considerable influence on the considered LHAWT’s performance. Hence, the ability to estimate reliable margins for aeroelastic instabilities is expected to be of major importance for an LHAWT designer.  In this regard, there is an urgent need to develop a set of robust, accurate, and reliable prediction methods based on coupled aeroelasticity, structural dynamics, control systems, and nonlinear analysis. In particular, it is necessary to enhance and calibrate existing numerical tools and develop new numerical tools for predicting complex aeroservoelastic phenomena, including those due to aerodynamic and structural nonlinearities with a high level of accuracy.

The overall aim of this effort is to develop a fundamental understanding of the nonlinear aeroservoelastic behavior of LHAWT with high aspect-ratio blades and high flexibility. This understanding is to be realized by developing comprehensive computational tools, and the understanding gained through this study is to be used for predicting the uncontrolled and controlled responses of LHAWT. Novel aspects of this work are derived from the following: i) consideration of dynamic coupling between rigid-body modes and elastic modes of the flexible LHAWT structures, ii) combination of structural models and aerodynamic models to capture the coupled physics, iii) study of dynamic instabilities (for example, dynamic buckling, flutter) and post-instability motions such as limit-cycle oscillations (LCOs), and iv) use of nonlinear phenomenon such as modal saturation to design controllers and active (or “smart/compliant”) structures for attenuating oscillatory motions.  

From a fundamental standpoint, this effort will help understand how to couple unsteady, nonlinear aerodynamic models with nonlinear structural dynamics models in studies of unsteady, nonlinear fluid-structure problems, the different possible nonlinear phenomena in such systems, and develop nonlinear phenomena based control strategies. The development of the proposed fluid-structure models and control strategies for highly flexible LHAWT is expected to provide an important foundation for the design of the next generation of LHAWT.


Sergio Preidikman received his BS degree in aeronautical and mechanical engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in 1988, his MS degree in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in 1992, and his PhD in engineering mechanics from The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1998. He is currently a Professor of Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, and since 2006 and Associated Researcher at CONICET. He was a visiting Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park, USA and was an invited Researcher/Lecturer/Scholar at the Universities of Maryland at College Park, Texas at Brownsville, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA. Prior to joining the faculty at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba he spent several years working at the Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina. Dr. Preidikman is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Academy of Mechanics, the IEEE, the AMCA, the ASAMACI, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is the author of more than 60 technical and scientific papers and of more than 200 conference papers. His current areas of research are in the fields of computational mechanics, numerical methods in engineering, unsteady and nonlinear aeroelasticity, flapping wings, bioinspiration and biomimetics.


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