Reliability-Based Lifetime Fatigue Damage Assessment of Offshore Composite Wind Turbine Blades

Change log
Chen, HP 
Tee, KF 
Liang, D 

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a method for stochastic deterioration modelling and fatigue damage assessment for composite wind turbine blades operating in offshore environments. The fatigue damage of the composite blades is analysed and assessed based on the estimates for the applied loads along the blade span, stress analysis, fatigue crack evolution, and lifetime probability of fatigue failure. The complex stress states of the blade are mainly caused by the aerodynamic loads generated by corrected blade element momentum theory, gravity loads and centrifugal loads. The fatigue of the wind turbine blade is then investigated on the basis of the actual fatigue damage propagation process. The stochastic gamma process is introduced to calculate the probability of fatigue failure of the blade for various critical limits, and these results together with lifecycle cost analysis are employed to determine the optimum maintenance strategy. Finally, a numerical example for an NREL 5 MW wind turbine blade is adopted to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method. The numerical results show that the proposed approach can provide a reliable tool for estimating stress states, evaluating fatigue damage, analysing lifetime fatigue failure probability and optimising repair time of the composite wind turbine blade.

Wind turbine blade, Fatigue damage, Stochastic modeling, Reliability analysis, Maintenance strategy
Journal Title
Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
All rights reserved
The corresponding author is grateful for the financial supports received from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51978263) and the Natural Science Key Foundation of Jiangxi Province (Grant No. 20192ACBL20008)