Fragility analyses of offshore wind turbines subjected to aerodynamic and sea wave loadings

Haoran Zuo, Kaiming Bi, Hong Hao, Yu Xin, Jun Li, Chao Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


To more effectively extract the vast wind energy in marine areas, offshore wind turbines have been constructed with slender tower and large rotor. External vibration sources such as aerodynamic, sea wave and seismic loadings can threaten the safety of these energy infrastructures. It is important to evaluate the reliability of offshore wind turbines subjected to external vibration sources. Previous research works on the wind turbine fragility analyses only considered the fragility of the tower by assuming the wind turbine was in the parked condition with the blade mass lumped at the top of the tower. The study of the fragility of the blade which is one of the most important components of a wind turbine has not been reported. In the present study, a detailed three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model of the NREL 5 MW wind turbine is developed in ABAQUS, and the tower and blades are explicitly modelled to realistically estimate the aerodynamic loads and structural behaviours of the wind turbine. The uncertainties of the structural mass, stiffness and damping are taken into account to develop the probabilistic wind-induced demand models for the tower and blades. The dynamic behaviours of the wind turbine subjected to the simultaneous aerodynamic and sea wave loadings are investigated in a probabilistic frame and the fragility curves for both the tower and blades under the parked and operating conditions are derived and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1282
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerodynamic load
  • Blade
  • Fragility
  • Offshore wind turbine
  • Sea wave load
  • Tower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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