Joshua Feldman with adviser K. Haran
Structural design and validation of a 10 MW off-shore wind turbine for an ARPA-E funded project was completed as shown in Figure 9. This design consists of thin steel-sheet elements stacked together and is based on a study conducted by the University of Lappeenranta (Finland) on structural designs of large wind generators. Through modeling with finite element analysis, it was found that the radial deflection was kept to less than 10% of the air-gap value and the angular deflection to less than 0.05 degrees. However, the structural mass is 174 metric tons, which is greater than the reference case of 163 metric tons in a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. As more detailed mechanical designs are performed, opportunities for weight reduction include using lighter materials and mechanical optimization of the structure. Future plans include a detailed thermal analysis and continued refinement of the structural design.