Simplified critical mudline bending moment spectra of offshore wind turbine support structures

Lászlõ Arany*, Subhamoy Bhattacharya, John H G Macdonald, S J Hogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
988 Downloads (Pure)


Offshore wind turbines are subjected to multiple dynamic loads arising from the wind, waves, rotational frequency (1P) and blade passing frequency (3P) loads. In the literature, these loads are often represented using a frequency plot where the power spectral densities (PSDs) of wave height and wind turbulence are plotted against the corresponding frequency range. The PSD magnitudes are usually normalized to unity, probably because they have different units, and thus, the magnitudes are not directly comparable. In this paper, a generalized attempt has been made to evaluate the relative magnitudes of these four loadings by transforming them into bending moment spectra using site-specific and turbine-specific data. A formulation is proposed to construct bending moment spectra at the mudline, i.e. at the location where the highest fatigue damage is expected. Equally, this formulation can also be tailored to find the bending moment at any other critical cross section, e.g. the transition piece level. Finally, an example case study is considered to demonstrate the application of the proposed methodology. The constructed spectra serve as a basis for frequency-domain fatigue estimation methods available in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2171-2197
Number of pages27
JournalWind Energy
Issue number12
Early online date21 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • offshore wind turbine
  • wind loading
  • wave loading
  • natural frequency
  • rotor imbalance
  • blade passage
  • power spectral density
  • fatigue damage
  • support structure


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