A smart base restraint for wind turbines to mitigate undesired effects due to structural vibrations

N. Caterino, Christos T. Georgakis, M. Spizzuoco, A. Occhiuzzi

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Concerns in the last decades of the negative impact of the use of fossil fuels on the environment has lead to a boom in the production of wind turbines. To take advantage of the smoother stronger winds at height, wind turbine heights are progressively increasing. This has led to an increased demand to control tower forces. The application of a semi-active (SA) control system is herein proposed and discussed. Its aim is to limit bending moment demand at the base of a wind turbine by relaxing the base restraint of the turbine's tower, without increasing the top displacement. This is done thanks to the sharp increase of the dissipated energy in selected intervals of time and an adaptive change in tower dynamic properties. This SA control system reproduces a variable restraint at the base that changes in real time its mechanical properties according to the instantaneous response of the turbine's tower. This smart restraint is made of a central smooth hinge, elastic springs and SA magnetorheological dampers driven by a control algorithm properly designed for the specific application. A commercial 105 m tall wind turbine has been assumed as a case study. Several numerical simulations have been performed with reference to an extreme load, aimed at establishing a procedure for the optimal calibration of the control algorithm according to the specific case, finally proving the actual potential of the proposed control technique in reducing the structural demand with respect to the "fixed base" structure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEccomas 2016 Proceedings
Number of pages10
PublisherEuropean Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventECCOMAS Congress 2016: VII European Congress on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences and Engineering - Creta Maris Conference Center, Hersonissos, Greece
Duration: 5 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


ConferenceECCOMAS Congress 2016
LocationCreta Maris Conference Center
Internet address


  • Semi-active control
  • Wind turbine
  • Magnetorheological damper


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