In the last decades, the demand and use of renewable energies have been increasing. The increase in renewable energies, particularly wind energy, leads to the development and innovation of powerful wind energy converters as well as increased production requirements. Hence, a higher supporting structure is required to achieve higher wind speed with less turbulence. To date, the onshore wind towers with tubular connections are the most used. The maximum diameter of this type of tower is limited by transportation logistics. The purpose of this paper is to propose an alternative wind turbine lattice structure based on half-pipe steel connections.
In this study, a new concept of steel hybrid tower has been proposed. The focus of this work is the development of a lattice structure. Therefore, the geometry of the lattice part of the tower is assessed to decrease the number of joints and bolts. The sections used in the lattice structure are constructed in a polygonal shape. The elements are obtained by cold forming and bolted along the length. The members are connected by gusset plates and preloaded bolts. A numerical investigation of joints is carried out using the finite element (FE) software ABAQUS.
Based on the proposed study, the six “legs” solution with K braces under 45° angle and height/spread ratio of 4/1 and 5/1 provides the most suitable balance between the weight of the supporting structure, number of bolts in joints and reaction forces in the foundations, when compared with four “legs” solution.
In this investigation, the failure modes of elements and joints of an alternative wind turbine lattice structures, as well as the rotation stiffness of the joints, are determined. The FE results show good agreement with the analytical calculation proposed by EC3-1-8 standard.
The authors acknowledge the support of the European Commission’s Framework Programmes “Horizon 2020” programme through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) “AEOLUS4FUTURE – Efficient Harvesting of the Wind Energy” (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014: Grant Agreement No. 643167) and RFCS – Research Fund for Coal and Steel programme through the Grant Agreement RFSR-CT-2015-00021-SHOWTIME.
Jovasevic, S., Correia, J., Pavlovic, M., Dantas, R., Rebelo, C., Veljkovic, M. and de Jesus, A.M.P. (2019), "Alternative steel lattice structures for wind energy converters", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-05-2019-0042Download as .RIS
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