Renewable energy, especially wind energy, is essential for the planned restructuring of the German energy market. The aim is to optimize rotor blades for wind turbines and their production. Cost and weight need to be reduced in order to increase the energy to cost factor. Therefore, the institute is starting with a multidisciplinary design effort for rotor blades. The resulting tool is able to create FEM-models automatically as well as to include the effects of process-induced deviations. Through an interdisciplinary team work with other DLR institutes there will be the possibility of an efficient research and comparison of new rotor blade designs and functional modifications.
To reduce manufacturing costs of rotor blades, it is necessary to include production requirements already in the blade design phase. These requests are evaluated by test series, for example in our own 45m mould. With GroFi various fiber placement techniques can be tested. Laboratory scale as well as full scale experiments will be controlled by quality aims. Thereby, rotor blades will not only be produced at an optimized cost but their life expectancy and energy output will also increase.
Systems for structural health monitoring are investigated so as to reduce cost in operation and to generate tailored maintenance intervals. By morphing flaps and bend-twist-coupling, structural loads will be minimized. Further functionalities are integrated in the basic materials.