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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2019-14
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2019-14
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES).

Hurricane eyewall winds and structural response of wind turbines

Amber Kapoor1, Slimane Ouakka2, Sanjay R. Arwade2, Julie K. Lundquist3,4, Matthew A. Lackner1, Andrew T. Myers5, Rochelle P. Worsnop6,7, and George H. Bryan8 Amber Kapoor et al.
  • 1Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 USA
  • 2Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003 USA
  • 3Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309 USA
  • 4National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401 USA
  • 5Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115 USA
  • 6University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 7NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO 80305 USA
  • 8National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305 USA

Abstract. This paper describes the analysis of a wind turbine and support structure subject to simulated hurricane wind fields. The hurricane wind fields, which result from a Large Eddy Simulation of a hurricane, exhibit features such as very high gust factors (> 1.7), rapid direction changes (30° in 30 sec) and substantial veer. Wind fields including these features have not previously been used in an analysis of a wind turbine and their effect on structural loads may be an important driver of enhanced design considerations. With a focus on blade root loads and tower base loads, the simulations show that these features of hurricane wind fields can lead to loads that are substantially in excess of those that would be predicted were wind fields with equally high mean wind speeds but without associated direction change and veer used in the analysis. This result, if further verified for a range of hurricane and tropical storm simulations, should provide an impetus for revisiting design standards.

Amber Kapoor et al.
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Amber Kapoor et al.
Amber Kapoor et al.
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Latest update: 22 Sep 2019
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Short summary
Offshore wind energy is a burgeoning area of renewable energy that is an early stage of development in the United States. Exposure of offshore wind turbines to hurricanes must be assessed and mitigated to ensure the security of the renewable energy supply. This research assesses the impact of hurricane wind fields on the structural response of wind turbines. Such wind fields have characteristics that may pose heretofore unforeseen structural challenges to offshore wind turbines.
Offshore wind energy is a burgeoning area of renewable energy that is an early stage of...
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