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Keywords:

  • multi-hazard;
  • reliability;
  • probabilistic models;
  • fragility;
  • offshore wind turbines

ABSTRACT

A probabilistic framework is developed to assess the structural performance of offshore wind turbines under multiple hazards. A multi-hazard fragility surface of a given wind turbine support structure and the seismic and wind hazards at a specific site location are incorporated into the probabilistic framework to assess the structural damage due to multiple hazards. A database of virtual experiments is generated using detailed three-dimensional finite element analyses of a set of typical wind turbine systems subject to extreme wind speeds and earthquake ground motions. The generated data are used to develop probabilistic models to predict the shear and moment demands on support structures. A Bayesian approach is used to assess the model parameters incorporating the information from virtual experiment data. The developed demand models are then used to estimate the fragility of the support structure of a given wind turbine. As an example of the proposed framework, the annual probabilities of the occurrence of different structural damage levels are calculated for two identical wind turbines, one located in the Gulf of Mexico of the Texas Coast (prone to hurricanes) and one off the California Coast (a high seismic region). Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.