Structural analysis and optimal design of steel lattice wind turbine towers

Nafsika Stavridou, Charalampos Baniotopoulos, Efthymios Koltsakis

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Wind energy has shown its dominance among sustainable energy production means by the accelerating rise in total installed capacity and size increase of wind energy structures. Taking into consideration the fact that the supporting structure of onshore wind power generators constitutes approximately one third of the initial construction cost, structural optimization of the tower is considered crucial towards capital expenditures minimization during construction. Contemporary energy needs employ the construction of constantly taller and more powerful wind power converters, whose robust design in parallel to initial capital expenditures compression is not to be neglected.
The dominant structural configuration for onshore wind power generators is the tapered steel tower, but lattice ones with the used of enhanced special cross-sections can be a rather promising solution towards material use economy. The present paper addresses the structural performance and optimization of tubular and lattice steel wind turbine towers, examining alternative configuration solutions for a given height and rotor characteristics. The finite element software Abaqus has been used for the implementation of the structural models and an algorithm has been elaborated in Mathematica software in order to allow for the cross-section use optimization in the case of lattice towers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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