International Journal of Dynamics and Control

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 721–732 | Cite as

Dynamic modelling and experimental validation of small-size wind turbine using flexible multibody approach

  • Ayman A. NadaEmail author
  • Ali S. Al-Shahrani


The wind energy is observed as an essential and powerful energy resource for the socio-economic development. It is proposed that the small-size wind turbines can demonstrate the innovative solution for the wind energy conversion for low speed regions. An innovative design, control, and monitoring processes require accurate and validated dynamic model of such turbines. In this investigation, the flexible multibody dynamics approach is used to extend the traditional method of dynamic modeling of small-size wind turbines. A systematic approach is developed based on floating frame of reference formulation (FFR) that includes the dynamics of the flexible blades as well as the aerodynamic loads. Beam element is used to model the blade structure with variable twist angle. In order to counteract the effect of the geometric stiffening, which comes due to high speed rotations, the coupling terms in the expression of axial strain energy are taken into account. In the other hand, the circulation theory is used to calculate the pressure coefficient difference along the blade, and the generalized aerodynamic forces are established. An experimental test-rig equipped with wind generator is used for the FFR model validation. The equipment gives a maximum discharge flow of 10 (m/s) in a 500 (mm) diameter duct. The dynamic effect of the twist angle of 30 (cm) diameter of rotor blades is studied based on the measured rotor speed of the wind turbine. The comparison of experimental results and numerical solution shows a very good agreement and consequently the wind turbine model obtained is suitable for stress analysis, structural and control design. It is concluded that the FFR formulation is best suited for large rotation and small deformation problems, which coincide with the operational conditions of small-size wind energy systems.


Floating frame of reference Wind turbine Multi-body dynamics 



We are grateful to Automatic Control and Energy Labs, Jazan University, for generous support of license agreement of MATLAB software package and technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Benha Faculty of EngineeringBenha UniversityBenhaEgypt
  2. 2.College of EngineeringJazan UniversityJazanKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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