Design, Development, and Experimentation of Stress and Strain Measurement System for Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) blades

Author: Deepak Sapkota

Sapkota, Deepak, 2024 Design, Development, and Experimentation of Stress and Strain Measurement System for Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) blades, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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The project is affiliated with the identification and development of a stress and strain measurement system for the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) blades carried out under the collaboration of the VAWT-X Energy and Flinders University. The project aims to identify the appropriate stress & strain measurement system suitable for rotatory VAWT blades capable to fit within the compact space of the VAWT blade geometry and measure different forms of stresses and strains with wire/wireless data transmission. To achieve these objectives, necessary literature reviews about different existing measurement systems, data acquisition systems, data analysis, and interpretation methods were studied. The project is based on the use of strain gages using quarter bridge configurations along-with affordable electronics components like Analog-digital converters (ADC), multiplexers for multiple sensor configurations, and a microcontroller with ESP 32 as part of the data acquisition system using Arduino programming for the data collection. The mathematical and theoretical approach is used for the conversion, analysis, and interpretation of the data obtained from the testing of the test model made of an assembly of 3 hollow VAWT blades capable of fitting the designed measurement system. The digital output data from the measurement system is interpreted to the values of principal stresses and strains by the intermediate conversion into differential voltage generated in the quarter bridge circuit. The obtained values are then validated with the FEA analysis of the test model in ANSYS. The proposed test model was experimented with static structural analysis having multiple loadings at each end with the arrangement of fixed support. The measurement system attached is suitable for the VAWT blades facilitating the use of blades’ hollow cavity for the installation of components and transmission of data throughout the system. The measurement system is found to be sensitive to minor loadings tested under 5 different loading conditions and provided repeatable and quantifiable results. The experimental results and FEA results of the test specimen under static structural analysis are found to be satisfactorily close to each other.

Keywords: Key Words; VAWT-X Energy, Strain gages, Quarter bridge circuit, Analog to Digital Convertor, ESP-32, Arduino programming

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2024
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Dr. Amir Zanj