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Evaluation Of An Uncoupled Method For Analyzing The Seismic Response Of Wind Turbines Excited By Wind And Earthquake Loads

Renqiang Xi, Piguang Wang, Xiuli Du, Chengshun Xu, Junbo Jia

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There is a significant interaction between wind and earthquakes for large-scaled wind turbines due to an aeroelastic effect. This study evaluates the accuracy of an uncoupled method extensively utilized to analyze the seismic response of wind turbines at the operational state. Initially, the oscillation of the blade for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 5 MW wind turbine excited by wind and wind-earthquake combination, respectively, is compared using the fully coupled method to verify the assumption in this uncoupled method. Subsequently, the influence of ground motions on the aerodynamic loadings of the rotor is discussed to evaluate the interaction between wind and earthquake loads. In addition, the accuracy of the uncoupled method is assessed by comparing the analysis results of the coupled and uncoupled methods, where different mean wind speed and equivalent aerodynamic damping ratio are considered. The results indicate that the oscillation velocity of blades and thrust on the rotor are significantly influenced by ground motions. Moreover, the amplitude of thrust variations caused by earthquakes increases monotonously with the oscillation velocity amplitude of blade-root. The errors between the two models are beyond the engineering margins for some earthquakes, such that it is difficult to optimize a consistent aerodynamic damping in the uncoupled model to accurately predict the seismic response of wind turbines.