A Finite Element-Multibody Dynamics Co-simulation Methodology Applied to FAST
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A co-simulation methodology is explored whereby a finite element code and a multi-body dynamics code featuring flexible cantilevered beams can be coupled and interactively executed. The floating frame of reference formulation is used to develop the equations of motion. The floating frame is fixed at the blade root. Such a formulation results in ordinary differential equations without added algebraic constraints. A variety of loose coupling and tight coupling schemes are examined for this problem. To synchronize the coupling variables, a Gauss-Seidel type iterative algorithm is used. The resulting fixed-point iterations are accelerated using Aitken’s adaptive relaxation technique. The methodology is evaluated for FAST, a wind turbine aeroelastic simulation code developed by NREL. As with FAST, many multi-body codes which can model flexibility employ modal methods. A proposed addition for FAST to simulate flexible effects using a finite element method module offers a potential to include a variety of non-linearities and also provides possibilities for using a high-fidelity aerodynamics module. The coupling schemes are compared and their applicability and limitations for different scenarios are pointed out. Results validating the approach are provided.
Suryakumar, Vishvas Samuel (2013). A Finite Element-Multibody Dynamics Co-simulation Methodology Applied to FAST. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from