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Comparing a Fracture Mechanics Model to the SN-Curve Approach for Jacket-Supported Offshore Wind Turbines: Challenges and Opportunities for Lifetime Prediction

[+] Author Affiliations
Lisa Ziegler

Ramboll Wind, Hamburg, Germany

Michael Muskulus

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2016-54915, pp. V006T09A054; 10 pages
  • ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 6: Ocean Space Utilization; Ocean Renewable Energy
  • Busan, South Korea, June 19–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4997-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Accurate lifetime predictions are needed for support structures of offshore wind turbines to optimize operation and maintenance and to decide about lifetime extension of aging wind farms. A comparison of a facture mechanics model to the SN-curve approach for jacket supported offshore wind turbines shows that it is attractive for lifetime extension decisions; however major challenges are calibration of material parameters and assumptions for initial crack size. Crack growths on a Y-joint connecting brace and jacket leg was analysed with simulations of structural response to aero- and hydrodynamic loading and Paris’ law for crack propagation. The model was calibrated to yield an identical fatigue life as obtained from the SN-curve analysis. The effect of weather seasonality on crack growth was evaluated with a Markov weather model and Monte Carlo simulations. Results show that crack growth is sensitive to parameter calibration and follows seasonal weather trends.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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