Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Darris White

Committee Member

Dr. Marc Compere

Committee Member

Michael Desmond


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) provides the means necessary for advanced wind turbine blade testing. To improve on the current testing methods, a new testing method is being developed using the existing dual-axis fatigue testing capabilities in conjunction with another actuator to provide a phase-locked excitation method with adaptive algorithms and advanced control system strategies. This testing method will provide a more representative loading of the blade for fatigue testing as compared to loading seen in the field. The control system will integrate the MTS software and controller with a supervisory controller, programmed in Simulink, which utilizes PID control and peak detection. A Simulink model of a wind turbine blade was incorporated for initial control system design. The use of Hardware-ln-the-Loop (HIL) and Software-ln-the-Loop (SIL) testing methods will be employed for fault testing before the full system test for verification and validation of the control system requirements. This paper will focus on the control system design and simulation results, as well as PID optimization and a Design Failure Modes Effects Analysis that was done to ensure safety of the test.