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Structural Analysis of a Wind Turbine Blade Repurposed as an Electrical Transmission Pole | Journal of Composites for Construction


Abstract

This paper focuses on the conceptual use of a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) wind turbine blade that is repurposed for a second life as an electrical transmission pole. Thousands of tons of fiber-reinforced polymer composite wind turbine blades are currently coming out of service globally and are being landfilled or incinerated. These are not environmentally preferable disposal methods. This paper presents a detailed structural analysis of a Clipper C96, 46.7-m-long turbine blade used as an electrical pole. The analytical procedure needed to characterize the wind turbine blade for repurposing includes determining the external and internal geometry of the blade, identifying the types of materials and laminates used throughout the blade, and calculating effective moduli and section properties for structural analysis. Code-specified load combinations are then used to analyze the transmission line BladePole to determine internal forces and deformations and stresses. Maximum stresses were compared to those obtained from theoretical models. The results indicate that wind turbine blades can safely be used as electrical transmission poles.



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