Parametric lightweight design of a direct-drive wind turbine electrical generator supporting structure for minimizing dynamic response

P. Jaen-Sola, E. Oterkus, A. S. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Large and robust supporting structures are needed to keep the airgap clearance of direct-drive multi-MW wind turbine electrical generators open and stable. Reducing the structural mass of low speed electrical machines for offshore renewable energy purposes have become an important objective since with the decrease in mass a substantial drop in the machine capital cost can be achieved. As rotating pieces of machinery, generators vibrate when their natural frequencies are excited introducing potentially large amplitude oscillations due to the forces acting on them that could cause structural fatigue, noise and, in the worst case scenario, their sudden collapse. A novel procedure for cost-effective and dynamically efficient structural design of a generator has been developed through a series of different finite element studies for a proposed 3MW machine with a conical rotor structure working under extreme conditions. Following a parametric approach coupled with the use of a topology optimization tool it was demonstrated that the structural mass and dynamic response of the machine can be minimized, while complying with the deflection requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalShips and Offshore Structures
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 May 2021

Keywords

  • offshore direct-drive wind turbine
  • generator structure
  • parametric approach
  • topology optimization
  • dynamic design

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