Research Papers

Robust Design of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines Using Taguchi Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Yi Hu

Singiresu S. Rao

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0624srao@miami.edu

From the limited amount of data available on the relative and absolute costs of rotor blades of wind turbines built in Europe during 1990s, with capacities ranging from 1 to 2 MW, the elimination of one blade can reduce the cost of the wind turbine by as much as 7%. This translates to £168,000 (Euros of 1990s) [38-40].

Although the cost of achieving different tolerance on the various parameters considered in this work are not directly available, the order-of-magnitude costs have been determined using manufacturing tolerance cost information documented in Refs. [41-43] as well as the relative cost information provided by the Wisconsin Precision Casting Corporation, East Troy, WI 53120 [44].

J. Mech. Des 133(11), 111009 (Nov 11, 2011) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004989 History: Received March 17, 2011; Revised August 10, 2011; Published November 11, 2011; Online November 11, 2011

The robust design of horizontal axis wind turbines, including both parameter design and tolerance design, is presented. A simple way of designing robust horizontal axis wind turbine systems under realistic conditions is outlined with multiple design parameters (variables), multiple objectives, and multiple constraints simultaneously by using the traditional Taguchi method and its extensions. The performance of the turbines is predicted using the axial momentum theory and the blade element momentum theory. In the parameter design stage, the energy output of the turbine is maximized using the Taguchi method and an extended penalty-based Taguchi method is proposed to solve constrained parameter design problems. The results of the unconstrained and constrained parameter design problems, in terms of the objective function and constraints are compared. Using an appropriate set of tolerance settings of the parameters, the tolerance design problem is formulated so as to yield an economical design, while ensuring a minimal variability in the performance of the wind turbine. The resulting multi-objective tolerance design problem is solved using the traditional Taguchi method. The present work provides a simple and economical approach for the robust optimal design of horizontal axis wind turbines.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Axial flow model

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Figure 3

Blade geometry for analysis of a horizontal axis wind turbine

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Figure 4

Three different levels of shape profiles

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Figure 5

Response graphs for the S/N ratio (Parameter design)

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Figure 6

Response graph for S/N ratio (Penalty-based Taguchi Method)

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Figure 7

Sample tolerance-cost curve

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Figure 8

Relative cost for different tolerance levels

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Figure 9

Response graphs for the S/N ratio (tolerance design)




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