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Understanding Aeroelastic Dynamics for Aeroelastically Tailored Smart Turbine Blades (SAM31)

Project Description

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project detail

Wind turbines are getting bigger and wind turbine blades are getting more slender and flexible creating structural coupling and introducing highly nonlinear behaviour. Aeroelastically tailored smart blades (changing composite layups and/or sweeping the blade geometry) are currently being investigated by wind turbine manufactures such as Siemens Gamesa SWT-2.3-120 turbine to mitigate the wind turbine loads. It is very difficult to predict the dynamics of blades such as these because the flap, edge and torsional modes of the blade are strongly coupled. In this project the main objective is to develop a state of the art aeroelastic analysis tool to analyse and design aeroelastically tailored smart blades for very large offshore wind turbines. The modal approach for the structural model will be considered where torsional degrees of freedom must be considered. For the aerodynamic model, unsteady Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory will be applied and coupled with the structural model. The performance of the new aeroelastic analysis tools developed in this project will be compared with existing tools such as HAWC2, FAST.

A PhD candidate will work at CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology) during the PhD project. CREST is the largest and leading UK sustainable energy research centre, and leading European academic group, its research is innovative, excellent and relevant, influencing industry, policy makers, researchers and educators across the world.

Start date of studentship: 01 October 2020.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical engineering, Aerospace engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: wind turbine dynamics, rotor dynamics, aeroelasticity, nonlinear dynamics, modal analysis, structural dynamics, finite element method, aerodynamics, numerical code development.

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical, Electrical & Manufacturing Engineering’.

Please quote reference number: SAM31

Funding Notes

Applicants who apply for this project will be considered on a competitive basis in March 2020 against candidates shortlisted for this and other projects with the advert reference beginning ‘SAM’. Early submission is advised, and a complete application must be received before the advert’s closing date.

If successful, candidates will be awarded a 3-year school studentship providing a tax-free stipend and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £15,009 and £4,327, respectively, in 2019-20 which are likely to rise by 2020/21). Non-EU-nationals may apply but the studentship will cover the cost of the international tuition fee only.

Successful candidates will be notified by 26 March 2020.

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