A computerized method has been developed to aid preliminary design of composite wind turbine blades. The method allows for arbitrary specification of the chord, twist, and airfoil geometry along the blade and an arbitrary number of shear webs. Given the blade external geometry description and its design load distribution, the Fortran code uses ultimate-strength and buckling-resistance criteria to compute the design thickness of load-bearing composite laminates. The code also includes an analysis option to obtain blade properties if a composite laminates schedule is prescribed. These properties include bending stiffness, torsion stiffness, mass, moments of inertia, elastic-axis offset, and center-of-mass offset along the blade. Nonstructural materials—gelcoat, nexus, and bonding adhesive—are also included for computation of mass. This paper describes the assumed structural layout of composite laminates within the blade, the design approach, and the computational process. Finally, an example illustrates the application of the code to the preliminary design of a hypothetical blade and computation of its structural properties.

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