Wind Turbine Modelling and Analysis

Finite element analysis and multi-body simulation

Already in 1971, Wölfel was one of the first engineering companies in Germany offering computer-oriented calculations for industrial customers. Due to our many years of experience we can analyze even highly complex structures or the interaction of vibrations and sound emissions. Depending on the problem, numerical analysis FE-solvers (e. g. Abaqus) or MBS-software (e. g. Simpack) can be used.

We are able to evaluate your entire wind turbine

  • Complete system analysis with different levels of fidelity
  • Detailed component analysis
  • Strain, stress and fatigue analysis
  • Fully parameterized models result in high efficiency
  • Highly non-linear model behavior for realistic results

Wind Turbine Model – Structural components

  • Tower
  • Nacelle
  • Gearbox
  • Hub
  • Rotor Blades

More components such as flexible bedplate and generator can be added for highly detailed analysis.

Nacelle & Gearbox Sub-Models

Flexible or rigid bodies

  • Rigid body: fully parameterized
  • Flexible body: gears and shafts

Different levels of fidelity

  • Basic: constant stiffnes
  • Advanced: individual tooth contact

Any components of the sub-models can be modelled in finite-element software for higher fidelity.


Gearbox Analysis

Eigenvalue analysis

  • Eigenfrequencies and eigenmodes

Resonance analysis

  • 2D campbell diagram

Run-up analysis

  • 3D campbell diagram

 The analysis provides a more component-wise insight into the gearbox.

Tower Sub-Model

Flexible body

  • Finite element beam: fully parameterized
  • More complex geometries can be created in Abaqus

 Model as a substructure

  • Model may be used in different wind turbine models
  • Model may have additional point masses for fine adjustment

The tower can be either rigid or flexible body, depending on the required fidelity level. Offshore towers can also be modelled.


Rotor Blade Sub-Model

There are two simplified approaches to implement rotor blades in Simpack:

  • Basic format: bending and geometric stiffening are considered
  • Advanced format: coupling effects between bending and torsion are also considered

Detailed approaches for idealizing rotor blades can be considered via sub-models generated e. g. in the FE-solver Abaqus.

  • Third party module AeroDyn from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is used to produce the resultant aerodynamic forces on the blades.
  • Both upwind and downwind turbines can be simulated.
  • The model can also be used in controller design for rotor speed, power output and so on.

Certified third party module “AeroDyn” is a build-in function in Simpack for blade aerodynamic analysis.