Journal cover Journal topic
Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2016-41
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research articles
14 Dec 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES). A final paper in WES is not foreseen.
Structural optimisation of wind turbine towers based on finite element analysis and genetic algorithm
Lin Wang1, Athanasios Kolios1, Maria Martinez Luengo1, and Xiongwei Liu2 1Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy Engineering, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK
2Entrust Microgrid, Lancaster Environment Centre, Gordon Manley Building, Lancaster University, LA1 4YQ, UK
Abstract. A wind turbine tower supports the main components of the wind turbine (e.g. rotor, nacelle, drive train components, etc.). The structural properties of the tower (such as stiffness and natural frequency) can significantly affect the performance of the wind turbine, and the cost of the tower is a considerable portion of the overall wind turbine cost. Therefore, an optimal structural design of the tower, which has a minimum cost and meets all design criteria (such as stiffness and strength requirements), is crucial to ensure efficient, safe and economic design of the whole wind turbine system. In this work, a structural optimisation model for wind turbine towers has been developed based on a combined parametric FEA (finite element analysis) and GA (genetic algorithm) model. The top diameter, bottom diameter and thickness distributions of the tower are taken as design variables. The optimisation model minimises the tower mass with six constraint conditions, i.e. deformation, ultimate stress, fatigue, buckling, vibration and design variable constraints. After validation, the model has been applied to the structural optimisation of a 5MW wind turbine tower. The results demonstrate that the proposed structural optimisation model is capable of accurately and effectively achieving an optimal structural design of wind turbine towers, which significantly improves the efficiency of structural optimisation of wind turbine towers. The developed framework is generic in nature and can be employed for a series of related problems, when advanced numerical models are required to predict structural responses and to optimise the structure.

Citation: Wang, L., Kolios, A., Luengo, M. M., and Liu, X.: Structural optimisation of wind turbine towers based on finite element analysis and genetic algorithm, Wind Energ. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2016-41, 2016.
Lin Wang et al.
Lin Wang et al.

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In this work, a structural optimisation model for wind turbine towers has been developed based on a combined parametric FEA (finite element analysis) and GA (genetic algorithm) model. It is demonstrated that the proposed structural optimisation model is capable of accurately and effectively achieving an optimal structural design of wind turbine towers, which significantly improves the efficiency of structural optimisation of wind turbine towers.
In this work, a structural optimisation model for wind turbine towers has been developed based...
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