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Using Energy Payback Time to Optimise Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University College Cork.
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University College Cork.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the 9th ASMO-UK / ISSMO Conference on Engineering Design Optimization: Product and Process Improvement / [ed] Denis Kelliher, Osvaldo M. Querin, Vassili V. Toropov, Johann Sienz, 2012, 48-60 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ireland has a target of meeting 40% of its electricity requirement with renewable energy by 2020[1]. It is estimated that Ireland has a practical wind energy resource of 613TWh, which is about 21 times the total electricity requirement in Ireland at the end of 2008. Therefore wind energy is worth pursuing, however many technical challenges remain as it progresses offshore, one of which is the foundation and this will be designed and optimised in this paper.

Four different wind turbine foundations (WTF) will be designed and optimised in this paper, which include the small scale onshore, large scale onshore, offshore monopile and offshore gravity-based foundation. The foundation makes up on average 6.5% of the capital cost for onshore projects and 34%of that of offshore projects[2]. This justifies the need for optimisations to be performed on all WTFs to make wind energy more cost-competitive with conventional forms of thermal electricity generation.

The primary driver in foundation size is wind loading, however it is also more desirable locate these structures in high wind resources to maximise the annual energy yield and consequently return on investment. Therefore a specific indicator has been developed for this project to measure performance of each foundation in terms of its mass compared to the annual energy yield of the wind turbine. This indicator is the energy payback time and it is minimised in order to develop the optimal foundation.

The trade-off between material mass and annual energy yield is applied to define the performance of all designs developed for wind turbine foundations in this project. This is done to identify which foundation is most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution in delivering in Ireland’s renewable electricity target of 40% by 2020.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 48-60 p.
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104008OAI: diva2:562629
9th ASMO-UK/ ISSMO Conference on Engineering Design Optimization, University College Cork, Ireland

QC 20130524

Available from: 2012-10-25 Created: 2012-10-25 Last updated: 2013-05-24Bibliographically approved

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