Rotor Design

Advanced rotor concepts—from aerodynamics to instrumentation—offer great potential for further improving wind plant performance and reducing energy costs. Sandia leads next-generation rotor development through:

  • Open-source blade design platforms
  • Custom tools for structural, aerodynamic, and cost design and analysis
  • Sensors packages for structural & aerodynamic field testing
  • Active and passive load alleviation technologies

Sandia Wind Turbine Loads Database

The Sandia Wind Turbine Loads Database is divided into six files, each corresponding to approximately 16 years of simulation. The files are text files with data in columnar format. The first line in each file is a header line defining the contents of each column.

Learn more at the Sandia Wind Turbine Loads Database webpage.

Rotor Design Tools

Sandia develops computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools with capabilities driven by the needs of current research projects. Rotor design is supported by a collection of tools which enable design and optimization of the rotor aerodynamics and structural performance. This unique and customizable toolset enables innovative designs and research on rotors, often including unconventional design objectives.

Numerical Manufacturing And Design Tool (NuMAD) is an example of a design tool we have developed to simplify the process of creating structural models and calculating blade properties for aero-elastic simulation. NuMAD is open-source and freely available for download.

Learn more at the Rotor Design Tools webpage.

Design and Capability Research Program

Wind-plant under-performance is estimated to reduce revenue by 10%–40% due to turbine–turbine interaction and represents the most significant opportunity to reduce the levelized cost of wind energy. DOE has established the Wind Plant Optimization Center (also called the Atmosphere to Electrons [A2e] program) to facilitate a national focus on improving wind plant under-performance.

Learn more at the Design and Capability Research Program webpage.