Wind energy is the fastest-growing sector in the power generation industry, and is consistently cited as being on par with the cost of generation by natural gas. The growth in the wind energy industry has coincided with an increase in size of wind turbines. The benefits of larger rotor diameters are the increase in available wind power and the access to increased wind speeds at higher hub heights; furthermore, larger diameter rotors also increase the energy yield at low wind speed sites. With an increase in rotor diameter, blades are required that are proportionally lighter. The purpose of this mechanical engineering course is to provide the student with a foundation in the design and operation of wind turbines.
This mechanical engineering course focuses on the technical aspects of wind turbines; non-technical issues are not within the scope of this technically oriented course. On completion of this course, the student shall be able to conduct the preliminary aerodynamic and structural design of the wind turbine blades. The student shall also be more aware of the broad context of drivetrains, dynamics and control, electrical systems, and meteorology, relevant to all types of wind turbines.
Historical Review of Wind Turbines
Trends in Wind Energy
Wind Turbine Rotor Aerodynamics
Structural Design of Wind Turbine Blades
Wind Turbine Systems
Download during semester.
The following texts are available online from the ETH Library.
Hau, E. Wind Turbines: fundamentals, technologies, application, economics.
Burtin, T., Sharpe, D., Jenkins, N., Bossanyi, E. Wind Energy Handbook.
Manwell, J.F., McGowan, J.G., Rogers, A.L. Wind Energy Explained: theory, design & application.
Wind energy research at ETH
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)
Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE)
Wind turbine manufacturers
13/14 Weekly lecture (2 hours) and exercise session (1hour).
One-day excursion to a wind farm.
REQUIRED knowledge for the lectures
Mechanics and fluid dynamics knowledge equivalent to Bachelor's degree