Carbon Fiber Composite Aeroelastically Tailored Rotor Blades for Utility-Scale Wind Turbines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER86175
Agency Tracking Number: 70206T02-II
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Nanohmics, Inc.
4302 Rimdale Drive, Austin, TX, 78731
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kyle Wetzel
 (785) 838-3771
Business Contact
 Keith Jamison
Phone: (512) 349-0835
Research Institution
 The Wichita State University
 Dept. 3001-Research Admin.
319 National Institute for Avi
Wichita, KS, 67260
 Nonprofit college or university
70206T02-II The wind turbine industry will require advanced blade materials and designs to achieve the DOE goal of 3.0¿/kWh cost of energy at Class 4 sites. The use of hybrid carbon/glass composite materials offers the potential for significant savings in blade weight. In addition, twist-bend coupling can ameliorate peak extreme loads and fatigue, allowing an increase in rotor diameter and, hence, energy capture. This project will develop and demonstrate the production of a utility-scale, twist-bend-coupled wind turbine rotor blade that can be cost-effectively manufactured using resin infusion processes with hybrid carbon and glass composite materials. Phase I: (1) conducted static and fatigue tests of coupons of unbalanced carbon-glass hybrid composite structures; (2) investigated blade manufacturing processes; (3) completed parametric studies of the dynamics of a 1.5-MW wind turbine using twist-bend coupled rotor blades; and (4) designed 37-m and 39-m twist-bend-coupled carbon-glass hybrid blades. Phase II will: (1) determine the properties of carbon/glass hybrid materials to be used in the design of twist-bend-coupled blades; (2) complete the design and analysis of the 37-m twist-bend coupled hybrid carbon/glass blade; (3) fabricate a prototype 37-m blade and subject it to static and fatigue testing; and (4) complete the design, development, and analysis of a 60-m carbon/glass hybrid twist-bend coupled wind turbine rotor blade. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Over the course of the first decade after the adoption of this technology, the increase in revenue or savings in cost to the wind turbine industry or consumers would add up to at least $500 million.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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