Seismic performance analysis of a wind turbine tower subjected to earthquake and ice actions

PLoS One. 2021 Mar 31;16(3):e0247557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247557. eCollection 2021.


Sea ice is one of the main loads acting on a wind turbine tower in areas prone to icing, and this threatens safe working life of the wind turbine tower. In our study, a simplified calculated model of ice, wind turbine tower, and water dynamic interaction under earthquake action was proposed, which could avoid to solve a large number of nonlinear equations. Then, the seismic behaviour of the wind turbine tower with and without the influence of sea ice was investigated, and we found that the influence of the greater mass of the sea ice on the seismic response of a wind turbine tower should be considered when the wind turbine tower is designed in an area with thick ice. With the influence of the most unfavourable ice mass, the deformation and energy dissipation capacity of the wind turbine tower are decreased, and the wall thickness or stiffening rib thickness should be increased to improve the seismic performance and ductility of the wind turbine tower; the shear force and bending moment increased significantly on the wind turbine tower, and the shear force changes at the bottom of the wind turbine tower and position of action of the sea ice: attention should be paid to the wind turbine tower design at these positions. Finally, we conducted the shaking table test, and verified the rationality of our proposed simplified model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bays*
  • China
  • Earthquakes*
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Ice Cover*
  • Power Plants*
  • Wind*

Grant support

This work is financially supported by research grants from the Institute of Crustal Dynamics, China Earthquake Administration (Grant No.ZDJ2017-14), CAST’s Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Programme (2018QNRC001), and the National Key R & D Programme of China (2017YFC1500404).