Design of Foundations for Wind Turbines

  • 2015

Design of Foundations for Wind Turbines

Author:
Cesar Chirinos-Garcia
Abstract:

The design of foundations for wind turbine presents, among other challenges, an associated risk due to soil variability. In order to deal with this variable, a Front End Loading (FEL) methodology, which consists in applying the great majority of resources to the beginning stages of a project in contrast to later stages, was combined with a 10-step design process to obtain optimized results. This methodology is akin to reliability design, which uses statistical methods to approach variability in the design of different types of civil works (Houlihan, Lazarte, Espinoza, Germain, & Li, 2010). In parallel, the project includes a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis to choose the appropriate design type given the site geotechnical conditions, as well as the use of numerical Finite Element (FE) methods to evaluate different scenarios within the same design concept. The analysis produced optimal design parameters for the foundation of a wind turbine supported by predominantly cohesive soils.