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Safety and Reliability

On the Modeling of Nonlinear Waves for Prediction of Long-Term Offshore Wind Turbine Loads

[+] Author and Article Information
P. Agarwal

Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712puneet.agarwal@stress.com

L. Manuel1

Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712lmanuel@mail.utexas.edu

1

Corresponding author.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 131(4), 041601 (Sep 08, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3160647 History: Received August 04, 2008; Revised February 14, 2009; Published September 08, 2009

In the design of wind turbines—onshore or offshore—the prediction of extreme loads associated with a target return period requires statistical extrapolation from available loads data. The data required for such extrapolation are obtained by stochastic time-domain simulation of the inflow turbulence, the incident waves, and the turbine response. Prediction of accurate loads depends on assumptions made in the simulation models employed. While for the wind, inflow turbulence models are relatively well established; for wave input, the current practice is to model irregular (random) waves using a linear wave theory. Such a wave model does not adequately represent waves in shallow waters where most offshore wind turbines are being sited. As an alternative to this less realistic wave model, the present study investigates the use of irregular nonlinear (second-order) waves for estimating loads on an offshore wind turbine with a focus on the fore-aft tower bending moment at the mudline. We use a 5 MW utility-scale wind turbine model for the simulations. Using, first, simpler linear irregular wave modeling assumptions, we establish long-term loads and identify governing environmental conditions (i.e., the wind speed and wave height) that are associated with the 20-year return period load derived using the inverse first-order reliability method. We present the nonlinear irregular wave model next and incorporate it into an integrated wind-wave response simulation analysis program for offshore wind turbines. We compute turbine loads for the governing environmental conditions identified with the linear model and also for an extreme environmental state. We show that computed loads are generally larger with the nonlinear wave modeling assumptions; this establishes the importance of using such refined nonlinear wave models in stochastic simulation of the response of offshore wind turbines.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Variation with mean wind speed, V, and significant wave height, Hs, of the mean of the maximum values from six simulations of the FATBM at mudline

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Figure 2

Empirical distribution of load (tower bending moment at mudline) extremes based on 150 simulations for a mean wind speed of 16 m/s and a significant wave height of 5.5 m

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Figure 3

(a) Time series and (b) power spectral density (PSD) functions of wind speed for V=16 m/s and of wave elevation for linear and nonlinear waves simulated using a JONSWAP spectrum with Hs=7.5 m and Tp=12.3 s

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Figure 4

(a) Time series and (b) power spectral density (PSD) functions of fore-aft tower base shear (FATBS) and tower bending moment (FATBM) at the mudline for Hs=7.5 m and Tp=12.3 s when wind is not included

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Figure 5

(a) Time series and (b) power spectral density (PSD) functions of fore-aft tower base shear (FATBS) and tower bending moment (FATBM) at the mudline for V=16 m/s, Hs=7.5 m, and Tp=12.3 s when wind is included

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Figure 6

Empirical probability distributions of ten-minute maxima of the fore-aft-tower bending moment at the mudline based on 50 ten-minute simulations with V=16 m/s, Hs=7.5 m, and Tp=12.3 s

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