Seismic analysis of wind turbines in the time domain



The analysis of wind turbine loading associated with earthquakes is clearly important when designing for and assessing the feasibility of wind farms in seismically active regions. The approach taken for such analysis is generally based on codified methods which have been developed for the assessment of seismic loads acting on buildings. These methods are not able to deal properly with the aeroelastic interaction of the dynamic motion of the wind turbine structure with either the wind loading acting on the rotor blades or the response of the turbine controller. This article presents an alternative approach, which is to undertake the calculation in the time domain. In this case a full aeroelastic model of the wind turbine subject to turbulent wind loading is further excited by ground motion corresponding to the earthquake. This capability has been introduced to the GH Bladed wind turbine simulation package. The software can be used to compute the combined wind and earthquake loading of a wind turbine given a definition of the external conditions for an appropriate series of load cases. This article discusses the method and presents example results. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.