The software worth noting for the wind industry simulates the myriad of conditions a wind turbine is likely to encounter, so that equipment designers and wind-site assessors can test a thousand different possibilities to find a best one. There are at least three different programs working in a turbine design facility: composite design, stress analysis, and an structural optimization software.
In the design of turbine blades, for example, conflicting design goals aim to make the blades longer as well as lighter. Some design software can assist with placing plies and resins for a particular strength value, but provide little guidance with weight control.
Software such as finite-element analysis can examine a design and using wind loads supplied by a user, tell where stresses are highest and whether or not they are allowable. Then optimization software can look at several competing goals, such as low weight and long length, and adjust other characteristics defined by the user to find a best possible balance.
Blade-optimizing software begins where traditional FEA ends. Starting with a finite-element model and working with FEA solvers, the software verifies structural integrity, predicts failure modes for aeroelastic load cases, and identifies failure locations and loads. To resolve unacceptable safety factors, or simply to find a lighter weight design, it sizes (optimizes) a design by surveying many design-candidate dimensions and laminates, making allowable adjustments, say to the type of internal stiffeners.
One in manufacturing is to procure more than one or two unfinished components from a supplier. The idea of one-stop shopping has reached manufacturing firms for a good reason: OEMs want shorter supply chains. The fewer shops a part must visit on its way to a finished machine the more likely it will arrive in better working order and it will cost less.
Filed Under: Software