This paper presents the results of a fatigue load evaluation from aeroelastic simulations of a multi-megawatt wind turbine. Both the Blade Element Momentum (BEM) and the Lifting Line Free Vortex Wake (LLFVW) methods were used to compute the aerodynamic forces. The loads in selected turbine components, calculated from NREL’s FAST v8 using the aerodynamic solver AeroDyn, are compared to the loads obtained using the LLFVW aerodynamics formulation in QBlade.
The DTU 10 MW Reference Wind Turbine is simulated in power production load cases at several wind speeds under idealized conditions. The aerodynamic forces and turbine loads are evaluated in detail, showing very good agreement between both codes. Additionally, the turbine is simulated under realistic conditions according to the current design standards. Fatigue loads derived from load calculations using both codes are compared when the turbine is controlled with a basic pitch and torque controller. It is found that the simulations performed with the BEM method generally predict higher fatigue loading in the turbine components. A higher pitch activity is also predicted with the BEM simulations. The differences are larger for wind speeds around rated wind speed. Furthermore, the fatigue reduction potential of the individual pitch control (IPC) strategy is examined and compared when using the two different codes. The IPC strategy shows a higher load reduction of the out-of-plane blade root bending moments when simulated with the LLFVW method. This is accompanied with higher pitch activity at the actuation frequency of the IPC strategy.