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Sustainable Energy Solutions Task 4.1 Intelligent Manufacturing of Hybrid Carbon-Glass Fiber-Reinforced Composite Wind Turbine Blades

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Research and Development

  • Link:http://www.osti.gov/bridge/advancedsearch.jsp
  • Source:http://www.osti.gov/rdprojects
  • Resource Type:Technical Report
  • OSTI Identifier:991644
  • Published Date:2011-03-13
  • Subject:17 WIND ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; COST; CURING; COMPOSITE MATERIALS; DEFECTS; DESIGN; INDUSTRY; MANUFACTURING; MOLDING; RESINS; TURBINE BLADES; WIND POWER; WIND TURBINES
  • Description:EXECUTIVE SUMARY In this subtask, the manufacturability of hybrid carbon-glass fiber-reinforced composite wind turbine blades using Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) was investigated. The objective of this investigation was to study the VARTM process and its parameters to manufacture cost-effective wind turbine blades with no defects (mainly eliminate dry spots and reduce manufacturing time). A 2.5-dimensional model and a 3-dimensional model were developed to simulate mold filling ...Show More
  • Description:EXECUTIVE SUMARY In this subtask, the manufacturability of hybrid carbon-glass fiber-reinforced composite wind turbine blades using Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) was investigated. The objective of this investigation was to study the VARTM process and its parameters to manufacture cost-effective wind turbine blades with no defects (mainly eliminate dry spots and reduce manufacturing time). A 2.5-dimensional model and a 3-dimensional model were developed to simulate mold filling and part curing under different conditions. These conditions included isothermal and non-isothermal filling, curing of the part during and after filling, and placement of injection gates at different locations. Results from this investigation reveal that the process can be simulated and also that manufacturing parameters can be optimized to eliminate dry spot formation and reduce the manufacturing time. Using computer-based models is a cost-effective way to simulate manufacturing of wind turbine blades. The approach taken herein allows the design of the wind blade manufacturing processes without physically running trial-and-error experiments that are expensive and time-consuming; especially for larger blades needed for more demanding environmental conditions. This will benefit the wind energy industry by reducing initial design and manufacturing costs which can later be passed down to consumers and consequently make the wind energy industry more competitive. ...Show Less
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