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Wind Turbine Tower Dynamics Modelling 1/5


Dynamics Project: Wind Turbine Tower Dynamics,
Determination of natural frequencies and dynamic
response. Design of tower damper system.

A rather large Wind Turbine (SWT 36-120)
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1. Introduction
Tower height is an important factor in the design of horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs). The wind blows
faster at higher altitudes because of the drag of the surface (sea or land) and the viscosity of the air. The
variation in velocity with altitude, called wind shear, is most pronounced near the surface. Typically, in
daytime the variation follows the 1/7th power law, which predicts that wind speed rises proportionally to the
seventh root of altitude. Doubling the altitude of a turbine, then, increases the expected wind speeds by 10%
and the expected power by 34%. Doubling the tower height generally requires doubling the diameter as well,
increasing the amount of material by a factor of eight.

For HAWTs, tower heights approximately double to triple the blade length have been found to balance
material costs of the tower against better utilisation of the more expensive active components.
2. Project Purpose
The purpose of the project is to become familiar with different methods of modeling and to compare their
results when determining natural frequencies and dynamic response for wind turbine structures.
Furthermore, a damper system should be designed based on tuned mass damper and slush damper
3. Structure
We will be focusing on steel tubular towers as illustrated in the figure below. The exact design is not
important as the interest is on the dynamic response and the design and modeling of a tower damper
system. A reference tower dimension is attached.

Figure 1: Steel Tubular Towers

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4. Theoretical Component
4.1. Use of different calculation models
Set up models to determine natural frequencies (Eigenvalues) and dynamic response of a mathematical
model of a wind turbine tower. The model should be assumed a cantilever cylinder. Compare 2-3 different
models, such as the exact model, FEM models (Lumped Mass Model) or FEM software and Rayleighs
Method. You can assume the tower to have constant cross section and mass density.
4.2. Expand the modelling
Use some (preferably all) of the methods below to gain more insight into the determining effects of natural
frequency and dynamic response including a damper design. The methods highlighted must be performed.
Adapt a suitable model of the nacelle (Point mass or Mass and inertia)
Add a simple or more complex model of the rotor. (Mass, inertia, angular velocity, etc., simple
Investigate the response from a sudden wind load.
Allow for input from the supporting structure (Earthquake, Waveloads)
Design a tuned mass damper and validate its performance through analytical/simulation
Develop an empirical damper model based on a slosh damper experiment (damper and
measuring device will be available) Demonstrate the damper interaction on a suitable tower
design (The damper is smaller than an actual, hence the tower has to reflect this)
Perform a Hardware-In-The-Loop simulation for the validation of the effect of the slush damper.
Let the parameters vary along the height of the tower (cross section, mass, and material)

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Figure 2: Realistic Tower

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Figure 3: Tower Damper
4.3. Experimental Work
Test and verify the mathematical models through experiments by use of shaker and motion table etc (a Brel
and Kjr hammer will be is available for transient measurements)
5. Report
The report should contain all your modeling assumption, comparison of results etc. and should be written as
a technical report.