Effects of Seismic and Aerodynamic Load Interaction on Structural Dynamic Response of Multi-Megawatt Utility Scale Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines


Horizontal axis wind turbines can experience significant time varying aerodynamic loads that has the potential to cause adverse effects on structural, mechanical, and power production. The progress in the wind industry has caused the construction of wind farms in areas prone to high seismic activity. With the advances in computational tools, a more realistic representation of the behavior of wind turbines should be performed. One of the simulation platforms was developed using the 5 MW NREL utility scale reference turbine model. The performed simulations will be used to evaluate the effects of aerodynamic and seismic load coupling on the power generation and structural dynamics behavior of this structure. Different turbine operational scenarios such as (i) normal operational condition with no earthquake, (ii) idling condition with the presence of seismic loads, (iii) normal operational condition with earthquake, and (iv) earthquake-induced emergency shutdown will be simulated with various loading conditions to show the differences in generated power and dynamic response. The results of this paper provide formulations for calculating generated power and design deriving parameters by considering different intensity measures. Moreover, the effects of aerodynamic damping and pitch control system are presented to shows reduction in the resulting design demand loads.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that provided the grant with contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 and the help of Dr. Jason Jonkman and Dr. Ian Prowell as the technical monitors for developing seismic module for FAST.

Keywords and Phrases

Aerodynamic loads; Dynamic response; Earthquakes; Electric utilities; Geophysics; Power generation; Seismology; Structural dynamics; Wind power; Wind Turbines; Computational tools; Coupled simulation; Emergency shutdown; Horizontal axis wind turbines; Operational conditions; Operational scenario; Pitch control system; Simulation platform; Aerodynamics; Damping; Dynamic response; Energy use; Induced response; Loading test; Power generation; Seismic moment; Seismicity; Structural response; Temporal variation; Trade-off; Wind farm; Wind turbine; Aerodynamic-seismic interaction; Coupled simulations; Horizontal axis wind turbine; Moment demand; Power generation; Seismic-induced emergency shutdown

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Article - Journal

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© 2015 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2015