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Base excitation testing system using spring elements to pivotally mount wind turbine blades

United States Patent

December 10, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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Wind Turbine Blade Testing System Using Base Excitation
A system (1100) for fatigue testing wind turbine blades (1102) through forced or resonant excitation of the base (1104) of a blade (1102). The system (1100) includes a test stand (1112) and a restoring spring assembly (1120) mounted on the test stand (1112). The restoring spring assembly (1120) includes a primary spring element (1124) that extends outward from the test stand (1112) to a blade mounting plate (1130) configured to receive a base (1104) of blade (1102). During fatigue testing, a supported base (1104) of a blade (1102) may be pivotally mounted to the test stand (1112) via the restoring spring assembly (1120). The system (1100) may include an excitation input assembly (1140) that is interconnected with the blade mounting plate (1130) to selectively apply flapwise, edgewise, and/or pitch excitation forces. The restoring spring assembly (1120) may include at least one tuning spring member (1127) positioned adjacent to the primary spring element (1124) used to tune the spring constant or stiffness of the primary spring element (1124) in one of the excitation directions.
Cotrell; Jason (Golden, CO), Hughes; Scott (Golden, CO), Butterfield; Sandy (Golden, CO), Lambert; Scott (Boulder, CO)
Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Golden, CO)
12/ 990,069
May 1, 2009
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the manager and operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.