Structural design of carbon/epoxy bio-inspired wind turbine blade using fluid/structure simulation

Mariana Correa-Álvarez, Valentina Villada-Quiceno, Julián Sierra-Pérez, Juan Guillermo García-Navarro, César Nieto-Londoño

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations


    The purpose of this paper is to present the structural design procedure of a low-speed, horizontal axis, bio-inspired wind turbine blade made of carbon/epoxy. The methodology initiates with the mechanical characterization of the carbon fiber composite material. An aerodynamic simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method is performed in order to obtain the pressure distribution profile of the blade. This result is coupled with a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to carry out an iterative design process through a Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) simulation. Different stacking sequences of laminates are evaluated to find a configuration which allows balance between aerodynamic and dynamic inertial loads, ensuring an almost undeformed geometry during wind turbine's operation. The final structural design of the blade consists in six regions with different laminates. These are balanced and symmetric with distinct thickness characteristics and stacking sequences, which vary in three different orientations: 0, ± 45and 90, achieving a minimum deflection at the tip close to 3.11 cm, and a total weight of 3.6 kg of a 1.8 m radius blade, even with the restrictions imposed by the non-conventional geometry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1832-1845
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
    Issue number13
    StatePublished - 25 Oct 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


    • aerodynamic loads
    • bio-inspired
    • composite materials
    • fluid–structure interaction
    • structural design
    • wind turbine blade


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