As the output power of wind turbine increasingly gets larger, the structural flexibility of elastic bodies, such as rotor blades and tower, gets more significant owing to larger structural size. In that case, the dynamic interaction between these flexible bodies become more profound and may significantly impact the dynamic response of the whole wind turbine. In this study, the integrated model of a 5-MW wind turbine is developed based on the finite element simulations so as to carry out dynamic response analysis under random wind load, in terms of both time history and frequency spectrum, considering the interactions between the flexible bodies. And, the load evolution along its transmitting route and mechanical energy distribution during the dynamic response are examined. And, the influence of the stiffness and motion of the supporting tower on the integrated system is discussed.
The basic dynamic characteristics and responses of 3 models, i.e. the integrated wind turbine model, a simplified turbine model (blades, hub and nacelle are simplified as lumped masses) and a rigid supported blade, are examined, and their results are compared in both time and frequency domains. Based on our numerical simulations, the dynamic coupling mechanism are explained in terms of the load transmission and energy consumption. It is found that the dynamic interaction between flexible bodies is profound for wind turbine with large structural size, e.g. the load and displacement of the tower top gets around 15% larger mainly due to the elastic deformation and dynamic behaviors (called inertial-elastic effect here) of the flexible blade; On the other hand, the elastic deformation may additionally consume around 10% energy (called energy-consuming effect) coming from external wind load and consequently decreases the displacement of the tower. In other words, there is a competition between the energy-consuming effect and inertial-elastic effect of the flexible blade on the overall dynamic response of the wind turbine. And similarly, the displacement of the blade gets up to 20% larger because the elastic-dynamic behaviors of the tower principally provides a elastic and moving support which can significantly change the natural mode shape of the integrated wind turbine and decrease the natural frequency of the rotor blade.