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MEMS Seminar: Unsteady Fluid-Structure Interactions and World's Largest Wind Turbine?

Duke Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Professor Eric Loth

Unsteady fluid-structure Interaction are becoming more and more critical to engineering systems. Advances in numerical schemes are discussed followed by a discussion of these interaction on wind turbines, where they are critical to design and cost of energy, especially in the category of extreme-scale wind turbines (¿ 10-MW). A new concept is proposed which employs a downwind rotor with blades whose elements are relatively stiff (no intentional flexibility) but with hub-joints that can be unlocked to allow for moment-free downwind alignment. Aligning the combination of gravitational, centrifugal, and thrust forces along the blade path reduces downwind cantilever loads, resulting in primarily tensile loading. Aeroelastic analysis and unsteady simulations (e.g. at gust and off-design conditions) indicate this concept is feasible and may allow the world's largest wind turbine.

Professor Eric Loth is the Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and serves as the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Engineering. He has received honors and awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation while also being named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and of Cambridge University.

Lunch will be served at 11:30 am.

Contact: Brandy Oldham