Inverse Load Calculation Procedure for Offshore Wind Turbines and Application to a 5-MW Wind Turbine Support Structure

Jason Jonkman, Thomas Pahn, Raimond Rolfes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


A significant number of wind turbines installed today have reached their designed service life of 20 years, and the number will rise continuously. Most of these turbines promise a more economical performance if they operate for more than 20 years. To assess a continued operation, we have to analyze the load-bearing capacity of the support structure with respect to site-specific conditions. Such an analysis requires the comparison of the loads used for the design of the support structure with the actual loads experienced. This publication presents the application of a so-called inverse load calculation to a 5-MW wind turbine support structure. The inverse load calculation determines external loads derived from a mechanical description of the support structure and from measured structural responses. Using numerical simulations with the software fast, we investigated the influence of wind-turbine-specific effects such as the wind turbine control or the dynamic interaction between the loads and the support structure to the presented inverse load calculation procedure. fast is used to study the inverse calculation of simultaneously acting wind and wave loads, which has not been carried out until now. Furthermore, the application of the inverse load calculation procedure to a real 5-MW wind turbine support structure is demonstrated. In terms of this practical application, setting up the mechanical system for the support structure using measurement data is discussed. The paper presents results for defined load cases and assesses the accuracy of the inversely derived dynamic loads for both the simulations and the practical application.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1171-1186
Number of pages16
JournalWind Energy
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-66988


  • continued operation of wind turbines
  • inverse load calculation
  • load measurement
  • system identification


Dive into the research topics of 'Inverse Load Calculation Procedure for Offshore Wind Turbines and Application to a 5-MW Wind Turbine Support Structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this