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StudyofCivilEngineeringandArchitecture(SCEA)Volume1Issue1,December2012www.seipub.

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CharacterizationofInternalMicrostructure
DamageofCompositeWindTurbineBlade
FollowingStructuralTestinguptoFailure
aslavMitrovi1,NebojsaPetrovi2,DragoljubBekri3,AleksandarBengin4,Vuk Dragovi5
AeronauticalDepartment,FacultyofMechanicalEngineering/UniversityofBelgrade
16KraljiceMarijest.,11000Belgrade,Serbia
cmitrovic@mas.bg.ac.rs;2npetrovic@mas.bg.ac.rs;3dbekric@mas.bg.ac.rs,4abengin@mas.bg.ac.rs

Abstract

turbinebladesandpotentiallybringimprovementsto
theirmechanicalproperties

This paper presents the results of research of the


microstructure of the composite blade W55RBVS for the
windturbineofupto6kWpowerafterstructuraltestingup
to failure. The first part of the testing consists of the static
testingofthestructureuptothemomentofthebladefailure.
Theaimofthefirstpartofthetestistodefinerigidityofthe
blade W55RBVS, to determine the maximum force which
leads to faliure and the relative span of the blade failure.
BladetestingisperformedintheAerotechnicsLaboratoryof
theFacultyofMechanicalEngineering,BelgradeUniversity.
The second part of the testing consists of comparing the
critically loaded part with subcritically loaded part. This
test was carried out by atomic force microscopy (Eng.
AtomicForceMicroscopyAFM).Alltheresultsandanalysis
are presented in this paper. The test result will be used to
redesigntheblades.

Structural Testing
The purpose of this research is to test the established
technology of designing the composite rotor
bladeW55RBVSofwindturbineScirocco.
Scirocco is a 5.6 m diameter rotor, 6 kW output
professionalscale wind turbine ideal for remote sites
with medium power needs, such as small farms,
houses, or large homesteads and especially rural or
village electrification, sea water desalination, direct
electrical water winddriven pumping. This wind
turbineisacommonpracticeanditisbuiltinseveral
countriesinEuropeandAmerica(Fig.1&2).

Keywords
Structural Testing; SmallWind Turbine; Composite Blade; Blade
Testing,Microstructure;AtomicForceMicroscopy

Introduction
The programme for testing rigidity of the composite
rotor blade W55RBVS of the wind turbine Scirocco is
defined by standard IEC 614002. The rotor blade
testing is done in an Aerotechnics Laboratory at the
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Belgrade
University.Thepurposeofthistestingistodefinethe
rigidity of the rotor blade and to determine the
maximum force that causes the failure of the rotor
blade as well as the spot of the failure. This research
uses atomic and magnetic force microscopy to
determine differences of the surface topography and
magneticpropertiesbetweenpartsofthewindturbine
blade that were under different load during the
mechanical testing of rigidity. This may lead to new
insightinthestructureofthematerialsusedforwind

FIG.1WINDTURBINEEOLTECSCIROCCO

Unlike most of its competitors, which use furling


techniquetodecreaseacquisitioncostatthedetriment
of performances and reliability, Scirocco WT is
designed and realized without compromise, using
state of the art components, centrifugal pitch
overspeed regulation device, slewing rings for blades
attachment and yawing, 100% sealed direct drive
permanentmagnetgenerator.Designandcalculations
havebeenmadeaccordingtoIEC614002designrules.

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Additional criteria are reliability, noise and aesthetic


considerations. The blade design process is multi
objective and generally include two optimization
functions, maximum annual energy production or
minimumcostofenergy.
To optimize minimum cost of energy a multi
disciplinary method is required. It includes an
aerodynamicmodel,structuralmodel,alongwithcost
models for the blades and all major wind turbine
components.

ProgrammeforTesting

FIG.2EOLTECSCIROCCOWINDTURBINEALONGTHE
HIGHWAYINFRANCE

The programme for testing rigidity of the composite


rotorbladeW55RBVS,madeinWING.d.o.o.company,
of the wind turbine Scirocco is defined by standard
IEC 614002. The rotor blade testing is done in
Aerotechnics Laboratory at the Faculty of Mechanical
Engineering,BelgradeUniversity.

Sciroccoischaracterizedbylowrotationspeed,avery
high efficiency, especially in the lower to medium
windspeedrangewhichisprevailingmostofthetime.
Thisistheresultoftheconjunctionofanoptimized2
blades rotor, an efficient direct drive PM generator,
and variable speed management combined with the
maximal power point tracking control following the
constantly varying wind speed. Composite rotor
blades W55RBVS are produced in the WING.d.o.o
company(Fig.3&4).

The purpose of this testing is to define rigidity of the


rotorbladeandtodeterminethemaximumforcethat
causesfailureoftherotorbladeaswellasthespotof
thefailure.
Methods used for this purpose and the way of
performing this testing are common practice of
aeronauticalreseachinstitutes.
RotorBladeAcceptance
Rotor blade acceptance provides a holding link
betweenthewindturbinebladeandthetesttablegrid.
The rotor blade is mounted on the Structure at the
angleofattack.(Fig.5).

FIG.3DESIGNOFCOMPOSITEBLADESW55RBVS

Thedesignofrotorbladesisabalancedintegrationof
aerodynamics, structural analysis and dynamics,
choice of different type of composite materials,
productiontechnologyandoveralleconomy.

FIG.4BUILTCOMPOSITEBLADESW55RBV

The design of modern rotor includes choice of blade


number, airfoil, chord and twist distribution.

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FIG.5ROTORBLADEACCEPTANCE

StudyofCivilEngineeringandArchitecture(SCEA)Volume1Issue1,December2012www.seipub.org/scea

accuracy class 0,2% and measuring scale from 1 to


500mm. Four different spots are considered in
measurementperforming(Fig.7).

Aspecialrotorbladeholderispreparedforthistesting.
This holder constitutes of extremely rigid specious
grid made of steel C and L profiles that are mutually
connected by bolt links. The link between the rotor
blade and the holder is accomplished through 30mm
boardandbyboltsM8of8.8quality.

Six force sensors specially made for this purpose are


used for measuring the force. Each force sensor
consistsoffourmeasuringtapesgluedonthebodyof
the sensor in a way shown on the Fig. 8.The function
ofthetwomeasuringtapesgluedinaxialdirectionis
tomeasurethedeformationofthesensorbodyduring
itsload,whilethefunctionoftheothertwomeasuring
tapes glued crosswise is to compensate the
deformations caused by sensor body bending and in
this way to provide that the measuring value should
beproportionalonlytoaxialload.

MeasuringEquipment
ThecentralacquisitionunitHBMSPIDER8represents
a multifunctional model of receiving analogue and
digitalsignalswithparalleltracingoftheflowofinput
units, by means of integrated microcomputer, using
higherlevelsystemtorelievetheacquisitionrouteand
to provide the flow of signals from certain smart
sensorsdirectlytothecontrolunit.
SPIDER 8 is a multichannel acquisition unit designed
fordynamicparallelmeasuring.Thankstointegration
with personal computer as a higher level system, the
process of measuring is remarkably simple and the
total acquisition system is compact and of small
dimensions(Fig.6).
This eightchannel acquisition unit provides 9600
measurings per second per each channel with
resolution of 16 bits. All 8 A/D convertors work
simultaneously and in a real time follow the
transformationofphysicalvaluesintoadigitalsignal.

a)

b)

FIG.8FORCESENSORA)SCHEME;B)ONTHEBLADE

Each of the force sensors is connected to Vitston full


measuring bridge. The measuring bridge is supplied
with direct input voltage VI, while output voltageVO
depends on resistance change of the measuring tapes
R1,R2,R3andR4causedbytheirdeformationsandit
isproportionaltoaxialforcevaluethatinfluencesthe
sensor. The method of bonding the measuring tapes
into measuring bridge provides above mentioned
compensation of bending moment influences on the
outputvoltage.

Twomodulesareusedforthisexperimentinthisway
providing that 16 measuring values are at a disposal
fortheexperiment.

Introducing force is performed by means of specially


made system that consists of supporting structure,
pulley,reductorunitandenginewithfrequentcontrol.
The maximum force possible that can be achieved
withthissystemis2500daN(Fig.9).

FIG.6TWOMODULESOFSPIDER8

FIG.7INDUCTIVEDISPLACEMENTSENSORLVDTHBM

Measuring of chosen spot movement on the wind


turbine blade is performed by means of standard
inductive movement measurer LVDT brand HBM

FIG.9CONSTRICTIONFORFORCEDISTRIBUTION

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RealizationoftheExperiment
The rotor blade is loaded in six sections by lyres and
measuredfromtheplaceofthebladeclamp(Fig.10).
Therotorblademassis11.9kg
Section

Distancefromtheplaceofbladeclampin(mm)

60.0

102.5

154.0

182.5

206.0

236.5

FIG.12THELOADDISTRIBUTIONOFEACHSECTIONIN
FUNCTIONOFTIME

FIG.10LYRESFORTHEINTRODUCTIONFORCE

The experiment is performed in the accordance with


IEC 614002 standard. The rotor blade failure is
marked with the resulting force of 490.76 daN under
maximumdeflectionof27.999mm.Afterthetestingis
completed, some separations are recorded on the
followingdistances(mm)(Fig.1113):
Leadingedge
Trailingedge

FIG.13THERESULTINGFORCEDISTRIBUTIONIN
FUNCTIONOFTIME

Testing by AFM/MFM Mode


The second part of the testing consists of comparing
the critically loaded part with subcritically loaded
part.

Beginning 56.5
End 106.5
Beginning 57
End 103

Thecompositematerialismicroglassfibersreinforced
with epoxide resin. The impellers were exposed to
criticalloaduntilfailureandpartsfromcriticallyand
subcriticallyloadedregionsofwindturbinebladeare
investigated by Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM).
Magnetic force microscopy is able to provide
characterizationofsurfaceandinternalstructurenear
surface of the sample, which is used in this paper to
give analysis of structural change of material with
different loads. Results and comparison of
microstructureoftwopartsofwindturbinebladeare
analyzedandpresented

MeasuringEquipment
Thescanningprobemicroscopeusedinthisstudyisa
SPM5200 from JEOL, Japan. The SPM5200 is a
multipurpose, high resolution scanning probe
microscope offering ease of use with diverse
measurementandsampleenvironments(Fig.14).

FIG.11THEPOSITIONOFTHEBLADEFRACTURE

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thesample.Inthesecondscan,thetipsampledistance
is increased and the biased tip is scanned along the
topography line obtained from the first scan. The
topographical line maintains constant tip sample
distance,whichequalsthelineoftheconstantvander
Waalsforce.

FIG.14JEOLSPM5200

Typically,thedeflectionismeasuredusingalaserspot
reflectedfromthetopsurfaceofthecantileverintoan
array of photodiodes. TappingMode AFM is a more
recent development in which the imaging probe is
vertically oscillated at or near the resonant frequency
ofthecantilever(Fig.15).

FIG.17LIFTMODETOOBTAINBOTHTOPOGRAPHYAND
MAGNETICFORCEGRADIENT

So, when the tip follows the topography line in the


secondscan,thevanderWaalsforcesactingonthetip
are kept constant. Thus, the only change in force
affectingthesignalisthechangeofthemagneticforce.
Magnetic property evaluation is based on the
magnetic force gradient image that shows the
qualitative distribution of the magnetic field within
the scanned area, pointing to the local distribution of
magneticproperties.Thecantileverusedinthisstudy
is produced by MikroMasch (Estonia) by trade name
NCS18 CoCr. MFM probe is silicon etched probe tip
that has conical shape. It is coated with Co and Cr
layers,soresultingtipradiuswiththecoatingis90nm.
Fulltipconeangleis40.

FIG.15CANTILEVERWITHASHARPTIP(PROBE)

Electromechanical feedback maintains the oscillation


ataconstantamplitudeduringscanning.Theimageis
produced by mapping the distance when the scanner
moves vertically, to maintain the constant oscillation
amplitudeateachlateraldatapoint(Fig.16)

Results
Averageofroughness:

Ra

1 L
f ( s) Z 0 ds
L 0

(1)

FIG.16SCHEMEOFMEASUREMENTSUSINGALASER

ThekeyadvantageofTappingModeistheelimination
of the lateral shear forces present in contact mode,
which,onmanyspecimens,candamagethestructure
being imaged. TappingMode AFM can be conducted
inanairorliquidenvironment.

Rootmeansquareroughness:
Rq

MFM mode. Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) is a


secondaryimagingmodederivedfromTappingMode
mode that maps magnetic force gradient above the
samplesurface(Fig.17).UnlikeAFM,theMFMusesa
probe tip coated with a thin film of ferromagnetic
material. This kind of probe tip will react to the
magneticdomainsonthesamplesurface.Theimageof
the sample is obtained with twopass technique in
whichinitialscanisusedtoobtainthetopographyof

1 L
( f ( s) Z 0 ) 2 ds
L 0

(2)

The10pointaverageroughnessisdefinedasthesum
of the average value of the absolute values of the
deviation from the centerline between the largest
deviation and the fifth deviation, and the average
value of theabsolute values of the deviation between
thesmallestdeviationandthefifthdeviation.
The10pointaverageroughnessisdefinedasthesum
of the average value of the absolute values of the

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deviation from the centerline between the largest


deviation and the fifth deviation, and the average
value of theabsolute values of the deviation between
thesmallestdeviationandthefifthdeviation.

Rzijs

z p1 z p 2 z p 3 z p 4 z p 5 zv1 zv 2 zv 3 zv 4 zv 5
10
(3)

Theheightzatthepositiondalongthelineisdefined
as:z=f(s).TheheightZoofthecenterlineisdefinedas:

Z0

1 L
f ( s)ds
L 0

(4)

Maximum difference between high (maximum value


Z ) and low (minimum max value Zmin) (Rz) : Rz=
RmaxRmin

FIG.17BSAMPLE1

Sample1LessLoaded
Itisexpectedforthepartofmaterialthatislessloaded
(Sample 1, shown on Fig. 17A,B,C,D) to have less
surface roughness as layers of silicone fibers held by
epoxy will be more evenly aligned. AFM research
shows that Sample 1 has smaller average surface
roughness(Ra)by200nmthaninSample2whichhad
higherloadduringthebreakingofwindturbine.This
could mean that inner layers of the material were
deformed and may not be aligned as in their original
position.

FIG.17ASAMPLE1

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FIG.17CSAMPLE1

StudyofCivilEngineeringandArchitecture(SCEA)Volume1Issue1,December2012www.seipub.org/scea

FIG.17DSAMPLE1

Sample2HigherLoad

FIG.18BSAMPLE2

Fromthefiguresrepresentingmagneticcharacteristics
of the material it is apparent that Sample 1 has
relatively uniform distribution of magnetic properties
while Sample 2 has black dots which represent
abrupt change in sample magnetization i.e. change in
magnetic field gradient. The existence of so called
black dots on the figure of higher loaded sample
(Sample 2, shown on Fig. 18A,B,C,D) indicates
possible changes in material structure that is on its
stratificationuponloading.

FIG.18ASAMPLE2

FIG.18CSAMPLE2

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R.Backers , Eoltec Shirocco E5.66, Instalation&Maintanence


Manual,200920010,SolacityInc.
Prof. dr aslav Mitrovi. Professor on the
University of Belgrade, Faculty of
Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical
Engineering Department in the field of
aviation from June 1998. Given lectures:
Aerodynamics,
Flight
Mechanics,
Programming and Information Science in Mechanical
Engineering. At the moment, he lectures Flight Mechanics,
Project Management and Aviation Legislation on the
Aviation module as well as the following subjects:
Programming, Advanced WEB design in mechanical
engineeringandSoftwareEngineeringontheI.T.module.

Beside the above mentioned works, aslav Mitrovi is the


authororcoauthorofmorethan200worksandprojectsin
the field of aviation. He also participated in construction
projects and classic construction airplane testing projects as
well as in composite glider projects. He took part in
developmentandconstructionofcompositehelicoptermain
andtailrotorblade.Thatknowledgeheusedinconstruction
of Cooling Tower composite blades. He participated in
methodology development of helicopter rotor and cooling
tower blades balancing. He participated in research, re
projecting, construction and testing the tank T55 cooling
system as well as the system for dust removing. He
participated in development of preliminary design for a
greatnumberofaircraftofdifferentpurpose.

FIG.18DSAMPLE2
Conclusions
Thisexperimentconfirmsthatthewindturbineblade
W55RBVShasveryhighrigidity.
Research by Magnetic Force Microscopy shows that
sampletakenfrompartwithhigherloadhavelargest
surface roughness and height differences as it is
expected. The existence of black dots (magnetic
holes)indicatesstratificationinsidethecomposite.

Prof. dr aslav Mitrovi is a member of ENGINEERING


CHAMBER OF SERBIA, Association of Technical System
Maintainers, Europion Federation of National Maintenance
Societies,InternationalCounciloftheAeronauticalSciences,
American Institut of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a
DirectorofMechanicalEngineeringAlumniFoundation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

ThisresearchwassupportedbytheMinistryofScience
and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia
projects:TR35035,TR36001.
REFERENCES

. Mitrovi, N. Petrovi, A. Bengin, D. Bekri, V.Dragovi,


A.Simonovi,G.Vorotovi,S.Radojevi,D.Stamenkovi,
Structural Testing of Small Wind Turbine Blade up to
Failure, International Conference on Innovative
Technologies. Conference INTECH 2011, Bratislava,
2011.
International standard IEC 614001, Wind turbines Part 1:
Designrequirements,Switzerland.
International standard IEC 614002, Wind turbines Part 2:
Design requirements for small wind turbines,
Switzerland.

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