Wind Turbine Design

Wind turbine manufacturers have sought our support for all phases of design. In the initial conceptual phase, for instance, our proprietary software is capable of assessing both HAWT and VAWT performance and loads, so to quickly evaluate multiple turbine configurations. Once the optimal configuration is chosen, we recommend performing detailed aero-hydro-servo-elastic simulations and, in case, multi-body dynamic modeling to accurately predict inertial and aerodynamic loads. The important aspects of the governor mechanism and generator are incorporated in this phase. During detail design, we evaluate airfoil aerodynamic characteristics, and blade structural integrity against fatigue and ultimate loading. We use commercial codes for finite element analyses to refine the structural design and composite material layout. Some of our modeling capabilities also benefit from a close collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (National Wind Technology Center) aimed at revising and extending state-of-the-art aero-hydro-servo-elastic models and structural codes.

We perform load analyses based on the IEC 61400-1,-2,-3 standards.

Our passion for small wind turbine design reflects into a rigorous engineering approach throughout the entire project. We closely follow the IEC 61400-2, ISO 2394, and other applicable standards to reach the highest quality in our design. As a confirmation, the SWCC has chosen RRD Engineering as independent structural engineer reviewer in support of turbine certification.

Wind Turbine Technical Due Diligence, Design Review, and Forensics

Before construction, we investigate the history of the selected technology, audit suppliers, interview OEMs, review structural designs, perform desktop studies to assess the wind resource, project feasibility, and site suitability.

During construction, we conduct site visits and inspections, act as owners’ engineer thus reducing risk to the project and our clients.

Once the wind farm is operational, the power output performance of an individual turbine, or of an entire wind plant, is carried out by collecting SCADA data and executing additional wind measurements as needed. In this way, we can compare plant performance to its predictions so to identify fatigue issues in turbine components, address under-production and control system recalibration needs.

Toward the end of the project, RRD Engineering can help owners and operators assess wind plant’s remaining useful life and best options for repowering.

Mechanical & Structural Engineering

We specialize in the design and analysis of new mechanical devices as well as of retrofits to existing structures. Clients asked us to redesign met-towers, hoisting systems, girder beams, roofs of buildings, billboard supports, etc..
We have also carried out detailed calculations for innovative renewable energy systems, and load analysis on solar photovoltaic panels and solar troughs; designed foundations for large buildings and airport additions.
Other activities included energy and efficiency calculations for ventilation systems, and for underground thermodynamic systems.
We participated in field testing of various components, from gas turbines, to wind turbines, and solar panels. Tests included vibration and modal analysis, acoustic noise, and power performance.
We take pride in our dedication to details and in our methodical approach. Analytical methods are employed at the beginning of a project, when multiple options need to be investigated. Once a design configuration is locked, we recommend an in-depth numerical modeling approach: either a finite element analysis or a computational fluid dynamics simulation depending on the specifics of the project.
If the need arises, our extended network of collaborators can help tackle the most challenging of the models and reach effective and timely solutions for our clients.