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Vitali Züch © Copyright: CWD


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Lightweight Design of casted structural components in wind turbines (LeKoGussWEA)


Renewable energies are constantly being developed further, and the wind power sector is also affected by this. As a result, the output of individual wind turbines (WTs) continues to rise. At present, around 20 t of cast iron per megawatt are used, which means that nacelle weights are reached in high-performance WTs, making a more massive construction of load-bearing structures necessary. This in turn leads to an almost proportional cost development with regard to manufacturing and installation.


The aim of the project is to reduce the weight of casted structural components in WTs by 20% in relation to the state of the art, so that an overall economic optimisation is achieved.


In this project, research is being conducted on a lightweight design concept for the development of weight-optimized casted structural components. This consists of three core topics:

  • Use of innovative casting materials,
  • Application of topology optimization,
  • Strength assessment with local material properties.

The core topics are integrated into a multidisciplinary simulation chain in order to make the development process of a casted structural components holistically efficient:

  1. In the topology optimization of the casted structural components, the geometry is optimized with respect to weight reduction.
  2. Casting simulation checks the casting feasibility and determines local microstructure parameters depending on the component design and the casting process.
  3. In the microstructure analysis, locally resolved material properties are determined from the parameters of the casting simulation.
  4. The weight reduction process is completed with the strength assessment with locally resolved material properties from the microstructure analysis.
  5. In the multi-body simulation, the influence of the optimized components on the overall system behavior is evaluated.


01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

Funded project partners:

Access Technology GmbH Eisengießerei Torgelow GmbH MAGMA Gießereitechnologie GmbH Friedrich Wilhelms-Hütte Eisenguss GmbH Institut für Strukturmechanik und Leichtbau – SLA Institut für Werkstoffanwendungen im Maschinenbau

Associated project partners:

ADI Technik GmbH Bdguss e.V. Buchholz & Cie. Giesserei GmbH Dossmann GmbH Flender International GmbH Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik eV Vestas Nacelles Deutschland GmbH ZF Wind Power Antwerpen NV

Project funded by:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Project promoted by:

Projektträger Jülich