A zero torsional stiffness twist morphing blade as a wind turbine load alleviation device

Xavier Lachenal, Stephen Daynes, Paul M Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the design, analysis and realization of a zero stiffness twist morphing wind turbine blade. The morphing blade is designed to actively twist as a means of alleviating the gust loads which reduce the fatigue life of wind turbine blades. The morphing structure exploits an elastic strain energy balance within the blade to enable large twisting deformations with modest actuation requirements. While twist is introduced using the warping of the blade skin, internal pre-stressed members ensure that a constant strain energy balance is achieved throughout the deformation, resulting in a zero torsional stiffness structure. The torsional stability of the morphing blade is characterized by analysing the elastic strain energy in the device. Analytical models of the skin, the pre-stressed components and the complete blade are compared to their respective finite element models as well as experimental results. The load alleviation potential of the adaptive structure is quantified using a two-dimensional steady flow aerodynamic model which is experimentally validated with wind tunnel measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065016
Number of pages13
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'A zero torsional stiffness twist morphing blade as a wind turbine load alleviation device'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this