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Three-Dimensional Coupled Finite-Element Analyses of the Seismic Performance of Onshore Wind Turbines on Liquefiable Soils

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In recent decades, research on renewable energy has been boosted by the emerging awareness of energy security and climate change and their consequences, such as the global cost of adapting to the climate impacts. Both onshore and offshore wind turbine farms have been considered as one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels. Their development currently involves seismic-prone areas, such as the Californian coastline and East Asia, where the risk of soil liquefaction is significant. Onshore wind turbines (OWTs) typically are founded on shallow rafts. Their operation can be affected strongly by the simultaneous presence of intense earthquakes and wind thrust, which may cause remarkable permanent tilting and loss of serviceability. In these conditions, accurate evaluation of the seismic performance of these structures requires the development of well-validated numerical tools capable of capturing the cyclic soil behavior and the build-up and contextual dissipation of seismic-induced pore-water pressures. In this paper, a numerical model developed in OpenSees, calibrated against the results of dynamic centrifuge tests, was used to evaluate the influence of some ground motion intensity Measures of the seismic behavior of OWTs included the amplitude, frequency content, strong-motion duration, and Arias intensity (energy content) of the earthquake, together with the effect of a coseismal wind thrust, which is not well explored in the literature. The seismic performance of an OWT was assessed in terms of peak and permanent settlement and tilting, the latter of which was compared with the threshold of 0.5° typically adopted in practice.



4005 Civil Engineering, 40 Engineering, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, 13 Climate Action

Journal Title

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

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American Society of Civil Engineers