Structural Strength Analysis of a Tri-Floater Floating Foundation for Offshore VAWT
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Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) are advantageous for the development of large-scale offshore wind power because the drive system is located at the bottom of the turbine. This study investigates the structural strength of a tri-floater floating foundation supporting a 2.6 MW Darrieus VAWT. Finite element models of the floating foundation were developed using space plate-beam elements. The environmental loads, such as the aerodynamic loads, static wind loads, and wave-current loads, were considered. The general strengths of the floating foundation were calculated for the normal operating case (a cut-out wind speed of 25 m s−1 and blade rotation of 12 r min−1 were used to analyze the most unfavorable loads) and an extreme case (wind speed of 40 m s−1 and parked blades), and the weak components of the structure were analyzed. The results show that the floating foundation meets the strength requirements and the structural stress is highest when the wave, wind, and current are in a collinear direction. The main and secondary supporting bars transmit the loads between the stand columns and the tower foundation, and their stresses are higher than those in the other components. In the actual design, these supporting bars should be strengthened. The aerodynamic loads are very important and should be considered in the structural strength analysis of the floating foundation and the floating wind turbine system.
Key wordsvertical axis wind turbine tri-floater floating foundation strength analysis finite element method structural stress
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This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51579176), the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (No. 16JCYBJC21200), and the Research Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (No. 1501).
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