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Rain erosion of wind turbine blades: computational analysis of parameters controlling the surface degradation


Parameters influencing the erosion behavior of the leading edges of wind turbine blade tips are investigated. Recent enhancements in structural sizes of wind turbines operating at extreme environments present critical challenges to performance and sustainability of wind energy production. In order to investigate the influence of the parameters controlling the erosion performance of the coatings under rain contacts, a systematic finite element simulation approach was implemented. Three main groups of parameters namely environmental, design, and manufacturing were investigated. The conducted investigations reveal desirable coating material characteristics and a simple indicator to select materials which protect leading edges against rain erosion. Moreover, the parameters such as surface properties, manufacturing aspects, and droplet shape were demonstrated to be critical in estimation of the coatings lifetime through numerical simulations. The introduced results provide a roadmap toward improved design of durable coatings for new wind turbine blades.

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The authors kindly acknowledge the financial support of the Innovation Foundation of Denmark in the framework of the Grand Solutions project DURALEDGE, Durable leading edges for high tip speed wind turbine blades, File no.: 8055-00012A.

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Correspondence to Saeed Doagou-Rad.

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Doagou-Rad, S., Mishnaevsky, L. Rain erosion of wind turbine blades: computational analysis of parameters controlling the surface degradation. Meccanica 55, 725–743 (2020).

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  • Wind energy
  • Modelling
  • Finite element
  • Erosion
  • Coating