Efficient Optimization Based on FEA and CFD Simulations

Counteract increased loads with topology optimized hub

Customer Request

Conceptual design modifications of the present hub are necessary due to significant increases in both the standard operational loads and the extreme load magnitudes e.g. for off-shore applications and for longer wings. The size of the wind turbines increased by a factor of 10 whereas the capacity increased by 1000 over the last 20 years. The present example shows how a designer efficiently can manage the increasing external loadings requirements and simultaneously, achieving a weight reduction and a stiffness increase of the hub.

Our solution: topology optimization with Tosca Structure

Topology optimization is applied for obtaining a new optimized structural design having a lower weight and a higher stiffness. Tosca Structure.topology iteratively removes material and redistributes material of an initial design space in the topology optimization process. Thereby, Tosca Structure.topology derives a new structural design which optimally carries the loads. Symmetry and casting constraints are considered during the automated optimization iterations ensuring a simple implementation of the new design proposal in the further development process. Additionally, a shape optimization using Tosca Structure.shape is performed after evaluating the new topology optimized design. Tosca Structure.shape employs small but essential design changes at the surfaces of the components leading to significant stress reductions of the hotspots.

Benefit for the customer

Structural optimization allows a speed-up of the entire development process also for the initial design process of the hub. Using topology optimization yields an increase in the total component stiffness and simultaneously, a weight reduction of the hub. Several additional cost savings are achieved due to the excellent initial structural hub design as material savings, easier transport and simpler assembly processes. Complementary hotspot stress reductions are obtained and in this manner the durability of the component is improved. The complete Tosca design process leads to a robust design and ensures that the 1st prototype passes all verifications.