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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

7 - Structural Loading and Response


Chapter 7 considers structural loading and response of horizontal-axis machines, with some theoretical background and illustrative measurements from different wind turbine types. The chapter begins with a recap of the dynamics of a single degree of freedom system, leading into a discussion of multi-DOF systems and modal analysis. The cyclic loads affecting a wind turbine structure are described, including wind shear, tower shadow, and rotationally sampled turbulence. The concepts of stochastic and deterministic loading are explained and the principle of aerodynamic damping illustrated. Qualitative descriptions are given of gyroscopic, centrifugal, and electromechanical loading. The phenomenon of blade edgewise stall vibration is explained, with discussion of mechanical damper solutions. The last part of the chapter draws on an early experimental campaign in which the dynamic loading on a full-scale wind turbine was measured and compared with the results of software simulation. Results from the same trials also demonstrate the difference in rotor thrust loading arising from positive and negative pitch control. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of fatigue prediction methods.