Design and Analysis of a 10kW Wind Turbine Tower
The wind turbines are used to convert the wind energy into electrical power. Wind turbines are mounted at the top of the vertical structure called wind turbine tower. With increasing demand of sustainable energy, the production of wind power by using wind turbines have become increasingly important over the last few decades. The use of wind to produce energy is one of the major forms of renewable energy. The primary reason behind the increase in wind energy harnessing capacity is improved turbine technology. However, the development of a wind turbine involves design of several components, including the tower, blades, nacelle, and foundation to be able to successfully harness the wind energy.
In the present work, an attempt has been made towards design and analysis of a 10kW wind turbine tower. The tower structure is 35 m height and has a tubular shape with variable cross section and constant thickness of the wall along its height. This work includes the design considerations and analytical derivations to arrive at the tower design satisfying the required function of supporting a 10kW wind turbine at a Class IV windy site. The critical design case is identified with the help of IEC 61400-2 standards and used to design the tower segments. The design has been carried out by analytical means and have been used as inputs to analysis using FEA (numerical) approach. The deflection equation for a tapered tubular beam has been derived from first principles relating the diameters of the tapered tower at the two extreme ends. The other parts of the tower such as the flanges, gussets, bolts and welded joints were also designed analytically. The tower was modelled using Solid Edge and static analysis was carried out using ANSYS workbench. Further, modal analysis was also carried out. Two tower configurations were analysed viz. (1) monopole (2) tower with perfectly bonded joints. The results of both the analytically and FEA predicted values were compared. Good agreement was observed and the deviations were on account of the assumptions made in the theory that resulted in higher stiffness for monopole tower vis-a-vis the tower with perfectly bonded joints. The door opening in the tower has been studied and remedial measures have also been suggested.
Keywords - Wind turbine, Wind loads, Tip deflection, and Stresses.