Structural design of the wind turbine blade

Hello Everybody,

I am recently joined this forum.

I am looking forward for the structural design procedure / data for the 61.5m wind turbine blade. Can anybody help me out by forward literature / documents on the structural design procedure?

Thanks & Regards,


Neither NREL nor Sandia (our sister lab) have tools to design blades. We have analysis tools, but none that will help you come up with a design. Our chief engineer suggests you contact an experienced consultant for help in designing a blade. I can think of two offhand, but would rather not mention them here. If you are interested in doing business with either, please let me know and I will contact them on your behalf.


Dear Shankar,

Are you referring to the 61.5-m long blade that is part of the NREL 5-MW baseline wind turbine? The properties of this blade, and the procedure use to arrive at its properties, are documented in the NREL 5-MW turbine specifications report, available from here: As the specifications report indicates, we did not design this blade, but obtained blade design properties from other sources.

I hope that helps.

Best regards,

Hi everyone. I’m in a similar situation to Shankar. I’m looking for a baseline for the creation of a multi-MW blade. My interest is primarily in the structural performance of the single blade, rather than the simulation of the entire turbine. Since design specifications of current blades are proprietary, I am hoping to use the NREL 5MW turbine to create some sort of reasonable finite element model of a blade.

The 5-MW specifications report lists the airfoil type at each of the nodes (Table 3-1). Sandia has developed an ANSYS pre/post processor called NuMAD ( which creates a blade mesh from a series of airfoils along the length. It also has the capability of including the shear web.

It seems that this would give you the basic shape of the skin, with pretty similar aero properties. It seems that with some work, the structural properties could be defined in an FE model to reasonably correlate with the FAST structural specifications.

Jason and Marshall: do you think creation of a baseline FE model is feasible through this method? Do you think it would be worth while?


Dear Alex,

In addition to the external shape, NuMAD requires that the composite laminate layup be defined. In effect, you would have to reverse-engineer the composite layup from the beam properties. Such reverse engineering would be worth while, and in fact, I think people have already done it before, as alluded to in the Sandia report found here: While I haven’t seen the composite laminate layup for the NREL (UpWind) 5-MW turbine myself, hopefully you can find it with a bit of research. I suggest you start by contacting the authors of the Sandia report. If you find the information, please post a link here on the forum.

Best regards,

After reading that paper, I think I will just use their 100 m blade to do my research. It fits in perfectly with the direction I wanted to take my thesis. Thanks a lot for pointing me to it; I doubt I would have found it on my own.


I’d like to advertise the availability of a basic structural layup to go along with the basic 61.5m blade design defined by NREL’s 5MW reference model. The layup design was done in a manner similar to that of the Sandia 100m blade design. Both a report and model files are available to anyone who is interested in them. You can contact me directly to get these files or can contact Sandia through the contact information listed on the NuMAD software webpage:

Brian Resor


I think this may be very useful to some people who are trying to model the NREL 5MW turbine with greater fidelity. Thanks for doing this and making it available.

One question: Does the design you came up with have the same distributed properties (mass and stiffness) as the FAST model of the NREL 5MW blade?

Mass properties are close, because I tried hard to make sure the blade mass matched with what the 5MW reference model called out.

Interestingly, the blade I made does not match the distributed stiffness properties. I found that I needed to make my blade stiffer in the flap direction to avoid tower strike (including safety factors) during the ECD case.

Dear Brian,
Would you please provide me with the NREL 5MW 61.5m blade composite layup mentioned in the above discussion. I’ll be grateful for that to use it in my research.

Hi Brian

Would you kindly provide me the basic structural layup to go along with the basic 61.5m blade design defined by NREL’s 5MW reference model for my research work?. It will be highly helpful

-Best Regards
Pravin Kulkarni

Dear Brian,

We have started the Finite Element modeling of the NREL 5MW wind turbine blade. We have faced one problem regarding the shear web modeling. It will be really helpful for us if you send the NREL 5MW 61.5m blade composite layup inputs.

Thanks in advance,

Dear Brian Resor,

Can you please email me at the report and model files of 61.5m blade design. Thanks.
I have downloaded 64bit version of NuMad from their webpage but it doesn’t has any airfoil info in it.

Dear Brian Resor

Can you send me a copy of the model files of 61.5m blade design, my e-mail address

Best Regards,

Dear Brian Resor,
Could you please kindly provide me the composite layup to go along with the basic NREL’s 5MW reference model?

I am a PhD student in Delft University of Technology, i would like to use it on my research.

It will be highly helpful if you could send me the layup information.

My email is

Thanks a lot.


Dear Liang and Zhikang,

I’m not sure if others from Sandia have responded, but Brian Resor is no longer employed in the Wind Program at Sandia.

Brian Resor’s report describing the reverse-engineered composite layup of the NREL 5-MW baseline blade is available here: … 132569.pdf.

Have you requested the associated model files through the NuMAD page that Brian referenced above?

Best regards,

Dear Jason,

I have contacted them through the email address on the website, and waiting for their reply.

thanks so much for your kind reply

best regards


Dear Jason Jonkman,

Thanks for your kindly reply.

I tried to request the model file days ago through the NuMAD page that Brian referenced , but no one replied me yet.


Best regards.


Dear Zhikang,

Sorry, but I’m not sure how to help. Hopefully they’ll respond soon.

Best regards,

hello Zhikang,
Do you have got the 61.5m blade mode? would you like to share it with me .I tried to request the model file days ago through the NuMAD page that Brian referenced , but no one replied me yet.
thanks in advance
Best regards