In this paper, we propose a new coupled dynamical model of a horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT). The proposed model takes into consideration the dynamic coupling of the flexible tower with both bending and torsion of the flexible blades. This model also accounts for the dynamics of an additional point mass located in one of the blades to simulate a crack. In addition, a finite element model (FEM) analysis along with an experimental study is conducted in this research to validate the modal analysis of a HAWT prototype. Data from the analytical, numerical, and experimental investigations were collected and showed comparable findings. Using the analytical model, the modal analysis and the steady-state response of the HAWT prototype are performed for two configurations: with and without a crack. In this paper, we also propose a new model-based technique for the detection of cracks in the HAWT.

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