Development of an Open Source Tool for the Preliminary Structural Design of a Small Wind Turbine Based on National and International Standards
Miranda Vélez, José A.
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Wind energy have proven to be a viable option in the production of electricity. The benefits from wind energy sources include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation and the diversification of the electricity production portfolio, among others. All wind turbines sold in the United States must be certified by a recognized institution following the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard . The certification process involves the mechanical analysis to ensure the structural integrity of the wind turbine. The approach follows the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard and incorporates the “Simple Method” as described in IEC 61400-2 . The purpose of this project is to develop an open source tool to perform preliminary structural analyses in the design of small wind turbines. The tool takes into consideration the key characteristics of the wind turbine’s tower, blades and shaft to perform fatigue, strength and vibrations analyses. The results from the tool were successfully verified against published results. Key Terms — Design, Tool, Software, Small Wind Turbines.