TKI VaStBlades: lower cost of energy due to more accurate design of large turbine blades

The TKI-VaStBlades project, a R&D project to enable more accurate designs of wind turbine blades by improved modelling and validation of torsional flexibility (which is the twisting of the blade) is carried out by ECN, Knowledge Centre WMC, TRES4 B.V. and GE Global Research.

Innovations in offshore wind aim to reduce the cost of energy. Many of these are driven by an increasing size of the wind turbine power and energy per unit. As a consequence, the turbine blades become larger and more flexible. In the past, only the deformations of the blade in and out of the rotor plane were taken into account in aeroelastic analyses. However, as the length of the blades increase, the torsional deformation becomes more and more important for an optimal power production, load reductions and the avoidance of aeroelastic instabilities like flutter.

The added value of more accurate blade torsion calculations increases significantly for larger and thus more flexible blades. The cost of energy is reduced by less use of blade material because of reduced loads and an increased yield of energy due to an optimal aeroelastic blade design with respect to power production.

For the design of even larger, flexible blades the current design tools have insufficient accuracy. Recent investigations in an EU project showed large variations up to 17% in calculated torsional stiffness by using state-of-the-art tools.

The activities in the VaStBlades project will include:

  • The development of improved structural blade (torsion) models.
  • Tests of two blades on the test rig of the WMC.
  • On-site blade deformation tests.
  • Validation of the aeroelastic and structural codes from ECN and WMC using
  • measurements.
  • Design of 10MW wind turbine blade applying the gained knowledge on torsional structural behaviour and the validated tools.

The project runs through to March 2019. The measurements will be in 2017 followed by the validation. The design of the 10MW wind turbine blade is conducted in 2018.

The VaStBlades project will deliver datasets with unique validation data, an improved structural blade model, validated aeroelastic and structural tools and a 10MW wind turbine blade design.

The project is funded by TKI Wind op Zee (Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation Offshore Wind) which facilitates cooperation between companies, research institutions and the Dutch government in offshore wind research, innovation and deployment.


For inquiries please contact:

Knowledge Centre WMC
Kluisgat 5
1771 MV Wieringerwerf
the Netherlands
phone +31(0)227-50 49 49