Hybrid FRP-concrete-steel prestressed double-skin wind turbine towers: Concept, design considerations and research needs

Ran Deng, Yu Xiang, Tao Yu, Tao Qi, Weidong Ji

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The past decade has seen rapid development of offshore wind energy around the world. Furthermore, to improve the efficiency of power generation, wind turbine development has been trending towards increasingly large and tall turbines. These developments call for innovations in the form of wind turbine towers to address the challenges faced by existing tower forms (e.g., steel tubular towers and prestressed concrete towers) in structural adequacy, construction efficiency and/or maintenance. This paper presents a new form of hybrid wind turbine towers which possesses many important advantages over the existing tower forms and are particularly suitable for large offshore wind turbines. The new hybrid towers, termed herein hybrid FRP-concrete-steel prestressed double-skin wind turbine towers or PDSWTs, are prefabricated in segments and then assembled on site. The PDSWT segments are a variation of hybrid FRP-concrete-steel double-skin tubular members (DSTMs), and they consist of an outer confining tube made of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP), a thin steel inner tube with welded shear studs, prestressed concrete between the two tubes, and flanges welded at the ends of the steel tube. The onsite assembly of the tower involves mainly connecting the steel flanges of two adjacent segments using high-strength bolts, and installing prestressed tendons through the whole tower. In this paper, the rationale behind the development of PDSWTs is first explained, followed by a discussion of the design considerations and future research needs to facilitate the practical applications of the new tower form.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Structural Engineering
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • confined concrete
  • double-skin tubular members
  • fibre-reinforced polymer
  • offshore wind turbine towers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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