Baseline Design of a Hurricane-Resilient Wind Turbine

Rick Damiani, Amy Robertson, Benjamin Maples, M.B.O. Andersen, Z. Finucane, A. Raina, Scott Schreck

Research output: NRELPoster


Under U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored research FOA 415, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory led a team of research groups to produce a complete design of a large wind turbine system to be deployable in the western Gulf of Mexico region. As such, the turbine and its support structure would be subjected to hurricane-loading conditions. Among the goals of this research was the exploration of advanced and innovative configurations that would help decrease the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of the design, and the expansion of the basic IEC design load cases (DLCs) to include hurricane environmental conditions. The wind turbine chosen was a three-bladed, downwind, direct-drive, 10-MW rated machine. The rotor blade was optimized based on an IEC load suite analysis. The drivetrain and nacelle components were scaled up from a smaller sized turbine using industry best practices. The tubular steel tower was sized using ultimate load values derived from the rotor optimization analysis. The substructure is an innovative battered and raked jacket structure. The innovative turbine has also been modeled within an aero-servo-hydro-elastic tool, and future papers will discuss results of the dynamic response analysis for select DLCs. Although multiple design iterations could not be performed because of limited resources in this study, and are left to future research, the obtained data will offer a good indication of the expected LCOE for large offshore wind turbines to be deployed in subtropical U.S. waters, and the impact design innovations can have on this value.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2014 AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, 7-8 October 2014, Atlantic City, New Jersey

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5000-62588


  • design load cases
  • hurricane conditions
  • LCOE
  • levelized cost of energy (LCOE)
  • NREL
  • wind turbine


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