A Comparative Study on VAWT Blades' Lap-Joint Designs: An Ansys Finite Element Analysis Approach

Author: Harsh Patel

Patel, Harsh, 2023 A Comparative Study on VAWT Blades' Lap-Joint Designs: An Ansys Finite Element Analysis Approach, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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The original and optimised designs of the blade lap joints on Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) are thoroughly compared in this study using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) in ANSYS. The blade lap joint, a critical structural element under considerable operational stress, is the subject of the current study. The blades benefit from increased shear resistance and tensile strength due to the use of Epoxy Carbon Woven (230 GPa) and a fibre orientation of -45, 0, 45, 0, -45 degrees. The mechanical properties of the composite material are optimised in this configuration, resulting in a longer blade lifespan. The FEA analysis revealed weaknesses in the initial design, which were resolved in an updated version. The improved design showed less stress and relocated the location of the stress from the lap edges to the z-section beam. The optimised design's safer profile was also suggested by the Tsai-Wu failure criterion, suggesting longer VAWT blade lifespans and reliable performance. In essence, this work emphasises the significance of design optimisation in renewable energy infrastructure, highlighting the integration of cutting-edge FEA technologies and material science to boost wind energy systems' efficiency and durability.

Keywords: Ansys, Lap Joint, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Epoxy Carbon Woven, Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT).

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2023
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Amir Zanj