Uncertainty in wind climate parameters and their influence on wind turbine fatigue loads

Highlights

Probabilistic framework for reliability assessment of site specific wind turbines.

Uncertainty in wind climate parameters propagated to structural loads directly.

Sensitivity analysis to estimate wind climate parameters influence on reliability.

Abstract

According to the wind turbine standard IEC 61400-1, structural integrity of wind turbines is determined either by direct reference to wind data or by load calculation. In both cases, deterministic values are applied and uncertainties neglected for the wind climate parameters and the structural resistance.

The uncertainty related to the wind climate parameters depends highly on the presence, duration and quality of on-site wind measurements, and the perturbations introduced by flow modelling. For the wind speed distribution, the uncertainty is considered in assessment of the annual energy production. For other wind climate parameters which potentially have a large influence on the wind turbine loads, the uncertainty is often not well investigated.

This paper presents a probabilistic framework for assessment of the structural reliability level of wind turbines in fatigue loading. Uncertainty of the site specific wind climate parameters at each turbine position is estimated based on the local wind measurements, speed-up factors and the distance between the wind turbine and the measuring position. The framework is demonstrated for a wind turbine project in flat terrain. The results show that the uncertainty in the site specific wind climate parameters normally accounts for 10–30% of the total uncertainty in the structural reliability analyses.

Keywords

  • Wind turbine loads;
  • Uncertainty modelling;
  • Site assessment;
  • Fatigue loads;
  • Reliability analysis

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