Design of Wind Turbines

Module number: MW2267

Duration: one semesters

Recurrence: winter and summer semester

Language: English

Number of ECTS: 4


Professor in charge: Carlo L. Bottasso

Amount of work

Class attendance: 60

Private study: 60

Total: 120

Course work and exam formalities

Students will be evaluated on an individual basis based on participation, outputs of the preliminary assignments and from the output of the last assignment. The last assignment will need to be presented in the last session.


The course aims at developing a multi-disciplinary optimization design exercise for wind turbine rotors. The first goal of the lab is to offer a detailed presentation of aerodynamic and structural models of wind turbine rotors and methods to design modern multi-megawatt wind turbine rotors. Then, the students will gain the ability to perform simulations of wind turbines, with a specific focus on the dynamic behavior of the blades, by using the aeroelastic code Cp-Lambda. Thirdly, the students will evaluate the performance of a wind turbine, conduct load analyses and process and interpret the results of simulations. Finally, students will become able to define the steps of a design of a wind turbine and set up the basis for an optimization process. Students will be asked to develop small week assignments in order to build up the technical knowledge in preparation for the last larger assignment. The last assignment consists of setting up an integrated aero-structural rotor design process to minimize the cost of wind energy.

Learning outcome

After successfully completing the course, students will have an understanding of the modern methods to design the rotor of multi-megawatt conventional wind turbines from an aero-structural point of view. They will have a knowledge of wind turbine aerodynamics and structural dynamics, and they will be able to conduct a performance analysis combined with a structural design optimization. The work of the students will be conducted both on an individual basis and in small teams and students will need to be able to subdivide the different activities for an efficient output of the work.


Knowledge in engineering mechanics and aerodynamics. Wind turbine design knowledge is welcome but not mandatory.


The following kinds of media are used:

- Class room lectures with and without the use of PC

- Lecture notes (handouts)

- Exercises with the wind turbine modeling tool Cp

- Lambda that will be provided to students together with a full wind turbine model


Course material will be provided by the instructor. Students will receive the aeroelastic code Cp-Lambda together with a full model of a multi-megawatt wind turbine.Additional recommended literature:

- T. Burton, N. Jenkins, D. Sharpe, E. Bossanyi, Wind Energy Handbook, Wiley, 2011.

- J. F. Manwell, J.G. McGowan, A.L. Rogers, Wind Energy Explained, Theory, Design and Application, Wiley, 2012.

Teaching and studying methods

Learning method:

In addition to the individual methods of the students consolidated knowledge is aspired by repeated lessons in exercises and tutorials.

Teaching method:

2 introductory frontal theoretical lectures of 1.5 hours 7 sessions of 1.5 hours each to present and explain the various design activities 5 exercise sessions of 1.5 each using computers, with discussion and correction of 4 preliminary assignments 2 last assistance sessions of 3 hours each to help in developing the last exercise design. Final evaluation session with results discussion. Work will be conducted in small groups of 2-3 people