Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Design load cases and structural integrity

Scientific aspects of the result:
There have been two conjugated focal points for this result. The first aim has been to investigate further loads than those considered in second, third and fourth results of this project and finally recommend what design load cases to regard for offshore wind turbine design. The other aim was related to the resistance of offshore wind turbines where existing offshore standards were reviewed.

Social and commercial aspects of the result:
There has been an immediate need for the project. Currently and over the next few years, the expansion in offshore wind energy, especially in Europe, accelerates and at project start there were no thorough and coherent guidelines for the design of offshore wind power plants. The existing offshore standards are not suitable to cover the offshore wind energy technology.

A combination of these offshore standards and the existing onshore wind energy standards is a very complex process and significant technology gaps exist. One of the major tasks of the project has been the attempt to combine the practices of wind turbines engineering and offshore engineering. According to the main results stated in the executive summary the project has succeeded in this, and thus it is the view of the project partners that the project outcome has aided a development with the potential of preventing erroneous decision-making on large investments in Europe on a technical weak basis.

Potential applications for and End-users of the result:
End-users are designers of offshore wind turbines i.e. manufactures, certifying bodies, writers of standards and regulations, and possibly owners and operators of offshore wind farms.

Innovative features:
The main outcome of this result is proposals to the design load case table in the draft IEC 61400-3 standard on the one side and on the other side the recommendation that existing offshore standards for material strengths and/or component resistances and/or system resistance may be used for offshore wind turbine design if partial safety factors are used carefully. Specifically the ISO 19902 is recommended when designing fixed steel support structures.

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