Wind energy has rapidly developed as a clean and renewable energy source in recent years in order to meet the increasing demand for power. European Union has already installed over 50GW of wind power generating capacity and has planned to increase the use of wind energy in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by the year 2020. The wind energy converters need to be thoroughly investigated with respect to their capacity, effectiveness and integrity. Wind energy potential (greater wind speeds) is greater in higher atmospheric levels. For offshore monopile wind turbine, their environmental loads are more complex than in the onshore ones as they higher average wind velocity and wave loadings. Thus, this makes the development of a new tall offshore tower configuration imperative for the construction of offshore structures under complicated loadings. This OFFSHORE TALL TOWER will offer a novel methodology to study offshore tall wind turbine tower in marine environment which can be used for cost saving of offshore wind turbine manufacture and promotion of energy production efficiency.
Aim: The aim of the project is to evaluate the potential risk of offshore monopile wind turbine towers under wind, current and wave loading when these structures satisfy both ultimate limit state and stiffness design criteria.
Gaps that are still present in state-of-the-art:
For the design of offshore tall wind turbine towers the major problems that arise are safety analysis and structural improvement of the offshore tall tower under the combination of all environmental loadings, and specifically the structural behaviour of offshore tall towers under combination effect of current, wave and wind loading, and the monitoring of the offshore tall wind turbine towers. The main difficulty to the analysis of the structural response of offshore tall wind turbine towers is the combination effect of current, wave and wind loading on the structural response of tall monopiles. To evaluate potential risks of them and extend their operational life, a series of scale-down towers are measured as laboratory test models.
Objectives and overview of the action:
For offshore wind towers, the wave and current loadings will be involved in the design of the wind turbine monopile and tower structures to eliminate potential risk. Thus, to study the combination effect of current, wave and wind loadings, a novel methodology using scaled down model based on the theory of similarity is proposed in the present project. More specifically, FE analysis of the towers is initially performed with the aid of the software ABAQUS (2012). In addition to the wave and wind loadings classically obtained from Eurocode 1991-1-4 (EC, 2005), the wind and wave time-histories data could be obtained by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, 2015) and National Wind Technology Centre (NWTC, 2015).
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