Offshore wind turbines are now a mature technology to produce renewable energy on a vast scale, nonetheless several design and maintenance planning challenges remain. There have been attempts to investigate the impact of marine growth on fixed offshore wind turbine structures, but only few adopted a whole dynamics approach. This work presents a methodology to capture the influence of marine growth on the dynamic response of a tripod substructure, supporting the NREL 5 MW reference offshore wind turbine, under combined dynamic loads from wind and waves, and including soil-structure interaction by means of the spring-to-ground model. Marine growth is modelled as prescribed by DNV and API, evaluating the effects of variation of its thickness, roughness, and distribution. It is here demonstrated that marine growth thickness and roughness impact significantly on the loads acting on wind turbines' structures and its dynamic response, and that heterogeneity in marine growth thickness profiles vs depth available in literature lead to substantially different results. Tower top displacement becomes 24% higher when marine growth thickness grows from 0 to 200 mm. On the other hand, the changes in the natural frequencies of the support structure with an increase of marine growth's thickness are almost negligible (0.3%).
- offshore wind turbine
- marine growth
- tripod offshore support structure
- soil-structure interaction
- dynamic analysis