Mr. Peter Greaves, MEng MSc
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peter graduated from Newcastle University where he received a first class MEng degree in Mechanical and Design Engineering. He worked in the offshore oil and gas industry for a year before studying for an MSc in renewable energy at Newcastle University, for which he received a distinction. He then worked at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), who are funding his PhD on wind turbine blade fatigue.
Fatigue analysis and testing of large wind turbine blades
Early work in the project focused on full scale fatigue testing of large wind turbine blades. It was shown that in order to test the blade in a manner that is more representative of what is seen in service, it is necessary to test the blade in the flapwise (wind excited) and edgewise (gravity excited) directions at the same time. Optimisation and simulation tools were developed to allow test engineers at Narec to design and simulate tests in order to reduce the amount of effort involved in setting tests up.
More recently, the focus of the project has shifted towards fatigue analysis of fibre reinforced plastic wind turbine blades. The method developed involves using multi-continuum theory to break the stress in the composite material down into the stress in the reinforcing fibres and the stress in the plastic matrix. The kinetic theory of fracture is then used to predict the development of matrix cracks. This physics based approach requires much less fatigue testing, and it also allows the effect of temperature on the material to be quantified. The method has been benchmarked against composite fatigue data obtained from the OPTIDAT database and a method has been developed to allow the analysis of complete wind turbine blades, or any other thin-walled beam like structure.