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Sandia maintains ongoing efforts to develop computational tools to significantly improve the structural and aeroelastic analysis capability available to the wind industry. These analytical capabilities may be used to guide the design of new blades as well as to verify/improve the design of existing blades. The validity of these tools is demonstrated by continuing a comprehensive design, analysis, build, test, and validation program. A major focus is being placed on better integration of the structural analysis and aeroelastic codes. This effort will result in a reduction in design time and lead to better and more efficient designs for future wind-turbine hardware.
Aeroacoustic noise sources from a wind turbine not only often dominate over other turbine noise sources, they also often limit the tip speed of the rotor, thereby increasing the required torque for a given amount of power. Sandia is actively developing its computational noise prediction capability in order to increase understanding of blade aeroacoustics and enable quieter blade designs.