Abstract

Offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are dynamically sensitive structures to low-frequency wind-wave loadings due to their low damping and high flexibility. This makes them vulnerable to unwanted vibrations in ocean environments. Therefore, there is a need to implement innovative vibration control devices to suppress undesired vibration and ensure their structural safety. A tuned mass damper (TMD) has been a promising solution to control excessive vibrations recently in OWTs due to higher efficiency and low installation cost. However, TMD performance in vibration mitigation of OWTs when placed at a nacelle is still challenging to investigate because the generator torque and pitch control may affect the dynamics of the overall system. In this paper, an optimal multiple TMD system is designed by placing TMDs at optimal locations along the tower, which are defined using the maximum amplitude of the displacements for the first three natural frequencies of the tower. In addition, extensive simulations are carried out with integrated OWT-TMD systems to find the optimal mass ratio values and quantity of the TMDs. The TMD system is also tuned for several scenarios, including operating, parked, and idling conditions under the combined wind-wave loadings. A numerical model of the 5 MW NREL OWT developed in OpenFAST is considered as the baseline in this study. The results show a root mean square (RMS) response reduction of 10.2% and 42% in fore-aft (FA) and side-side (SS) tower displacement with optimally designed multiple TMDs. Moreover, improved mitigation effects on tower base moment of RMS 43.6% and 20.8% are observed in orthogonal directions, respectively. The findings of this paper may have the potential for designing passive TMD systems for vibration reductions in OWT.

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