Wind Turbine Systems Design

General Overview

There field of wind energy and turbine system technology is broad and complex. Wind turbines have been utilised in energy generation for several centuries. There is available resources to study and understand the concepts, yet there exists limitations in implementation of wind power infrastructure. In order to avoid a generalisation, a few of the forefront concepts for understanding wind turbine systems and power technologies are listed thus:

  1. Wind Resource Assessment
  2. Wind Power Generation and Evaluation
  3. Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines
  4. Wind Loading on Turbines
  5. Structural Design and Manufacturing Concepts of Blades
  6. Rotor, Hub and Nacelle Design
  7. Electrical Systems and Components
  8. Mechanical Systems and Components
  9. Structural Design of Tower and Substructure 

Concepts of Wind Turbine Technologies

There are online courses for understanding wind turbine technology and power generation. For individuals interested in a broad overview course on wind power generation, photo 1 is a list. As captured on coursera.org (https://www.coursera.org/search?query=wind%20energy&) following a search for wind energy courses. Although auditing the course is free, an online certificate is available at a cost. These courses serve as an ideal introduction into wind power.

Photo 1: showing wind energy online courses

Wind Turbine System Design: from Wind to Infrastructure

There are several software which aid in the design of most segments of the physical wind turbine system. Of concern on this page is that of National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s opensource application. This software was developed by Jason Jonkman, Ph.D.Mike Sprague, Ph.D., and colleagues of NREL. A snapshot from the website can be seen in photo 2. OpenFAST is capable of designing wind turbine systems from the blades to rotor to electrical to mechanical all down to the substructure.

Photo 2: NREL’s description of OpenFAST application

This is indeed a complete application for design and implementation of wind turbine infrastructure. The basic conepts in wind power technologies is assumed as a prerequiste in utilising the software.

How to: OpenFAST Application

Several sources provide stepwise depiction of the use of OpenFAST. Below are additional depictions:

OpenFAST Series

Part 1: Running NREL’s OpenFAST Precompiled Binaries | Wind Turbine Design Technology

Part 2: Build OpenFAST on Windows Utilising Visual Studio | Editing Source Code | Turbine Technology

Part 3: Testing OpenFAST on Windows Utilising Visual Studio | Editing Source Code | Turbine Design

Part 4: Design of Wind Turbine Systems | Editing OpenFAST Input | Wind Turbine Design Technology

Part 5: Visualising OpenFAST Wind Turbine System Design Animation | Wind Turbine Technology

Part 6: Wind Farms Design and Modeling | Running OpenFAST’s FAST-Farm | Wind Turbine Technology

Part 7: Layout and Visualisation of Wind Farms Using OpenFAST | Running FAST-Farm | Wind Turbine