Surface Ice Module for Wind Turbine Dynamic Response Simulation Using FAST: Paper No. OMAE-13-1088

Senu Sirnivas, Bingbin Yu, Dale Karr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Developing offshore wind energy has become more and more serious worldwide in recent years. Many of the promising offshore wind farm locations are in cold regions that may have ice cover during wintertime. The challenge of ice loads on offshore wind turbines raises the demand of modeling capacity of dynamic wind turbine response under the joint action of ice, wind, wave and current. The simulation software FAST is an open source CAE package maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In this paper, a new module of FAST for assessing the dynamic response of offshore wind turbines subjected to ice forcing is presented. Method of approach: In the ice module, several models are presented which involve both prescribed forcing and coupled response. For conditions in which the ice forcing is essentially decoupled from the structural response, ice forces are established from existing models for brittle and ductile ice failure. For conditions in which the ice failure and the structural response are coupled, such as lock-in conditions, a rate-dependent ice model is described, which is developed in conjunction with a new modularization framework for FAST. Results: In this paper, analytical ice mechanics models are presented that incorporate ice floe forcing, deformation, and failure. For lower speeds, forces slowly build until the ice strength is reached and ice fails resulting in a quasi-static condition. For intermediate speeds, the ice failure can be coupled with the structural response and resulting in coinciding periods of the ice failure and the structural response. A third regime occurs at high speeds of encounter in which brittle fracturing of the ice feature occurs in a random pattern, which results in random vibration excitation of the structure. An example wind turbine response is simulated under ice loading of each of the presented models. Conclusion: This module adds to FAST the capabilities for analyzing the response of wind turbines subjected to forces resulting from ice impact on the turbine support structure. The conditions considered in this module are specifically addressed in the ISO standard 19906:2010 for arctic offshore structures design consideration. Special consideration of lock-in vibrations is required due to the detrimental effects of such response with regard to fatigue and foundation/soil response. The use of FAST for transient, time domain simulation with the new ice module is well suited for such analyses.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-65529


  • FAST
  • ice mechanics
  • NREL
  • numerical simulation
  • offshore wind turbine


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