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Post-cracking Behabiour of a Wind Turbine Concrete Tower

E.T.S.I. Minas (UPM)
Publication Date
  • Ingeniería Civil Y De La Construcción
  • Física
  • Design


The paper deals with the dynamic performance of a simply reinforced concrete tower built using prefabricated elements. The main uncertainty of this strategy stems from the possible cracking of the concrete and its implications on the stiffness, natural frequency and dynamic amplification of the tower. In 2006 an 80 m high prototype was built, supporting a 1.5 MW wind generator, carefully instrumented and test loaded to 80% of its design capacity. The prototype and installed instrumentation remained in operation for 3 years. Detailed calculations were carried out of the cracking induced in the concrete and its effects on the natural frequency of the tower, as a function of wind speed and orientation; the results were compared with the monitoring data. It is concluded that numerical modelling with Abaqus allowed good predictions and interpretations of the observed response of the tower. Also, simply reinforced concrete is shown to be a good option for high towers; if the structure is well designed, the natural frequency will not migrate to a point where its proximity to the forcing frequency will lead to unacceptable levels of the dynamic amplification.

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