Comprehensive Testing of NedWind 12-meter Wind Turbine Blades at NREL

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

2000 ASME Wind Energy Symposium


American Society of Mechanical Engineers


Reno, NV

Conference Dates

January 10-13, 2000

Date of Presentation



This paper describes the structural testing of two NedWind 25, 12-m blades at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The tests were conducted under the Standards, Measurement and Testing (SMT) Program in conjunction with tests conducted by four European laboratories to develop a common database of blade testing methods. All of the laboratories tested duplicate copies of blades taken from series production. Blade properties, including weight, center of gravity, natural frequencies, and damping were determined. Static load tests were performed at 110% of the extreme design load for strain verification. NREL performed single-axis and two-axis fatigue tests using "business-as-usual" testing practices. The single-axis test combined equivalent life loading for the edge and flap spectra into a single resultant load. The two-axis test applied the edge and flap components independently at a phase angle of 90°. Damage areas were observed at (1) the trailing edge, which cracked near the maximum chord; (2) between the steel root collar and the composite, where circumferential cracking was noted; and (3) along the top of the spar between the 2500-mm and 4200-mm stations, where a notable increase in acoustic emissions was detected. NREL observed that the onset of visible damage occurred earlier in the single-axis test.