Fatigue and Serviceability Limit State Model Basis for Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Converters.

Sebastian Thöns, M. H. Faber, W. Rücker

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper develops the models for the structural performance of the loading and probabilistic characterization for the fatigue and the serviceability limit states for the support structure of offshore wind energy converters. These models and a sensitivity study are part of a risk based assessment and monitoring framework and will be applied for estab-lishing the "as designed and constructed" reliability as prior information for the assessment and the design of monitoring systems. The constitutive physical equations are introduced in combination with the fatigue and serviceability limit state requirements as the starting point for the development of the structural performance and loading models. With these models introduced in detail, several modeling aspects for both limit states are analyzed. This includes analyses of the influence on the hot spot stresses by applying a contact formulation for the pile guide brace connection and the application of a finite element formulation using solid elements. Further, the comparison of the natural frequencies of a discrete rotor model with a continuous rotor model is documented. To account for uncertainties associated with the structural and loading models, a probabilistic model is derived on the basis of literature review and measurement data from a prototype Multibrid M5000 support structure. The sensitivity study is based on the calculation of a nonlinear coefficient of correlation in conjunction with predetermined designs of experiments. This is conducted by a systematic analysis of the influence of the random variables on limit state responses and hence on the structural reliability. Integrating the analyses and sensitivity studies of the fatigue and serviceability limit state models developed in this paper as well as the ultimate limit state models in Thons et al. ("Ultimate Limit State Model Basis for Assessment of Offshore Wind Energy Con-verters," ASME J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng.), the model basis for the assessment is completed. The process of establishing and analyzing such a model basis contributes to a detailed understanding of the deterministic and probabilistic characteristics of the structure and provides valuable insights in regard to the significance of available data.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)031905
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Model basis
  • Offshore wind
  • Support structure
  • Sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Serviceability

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