Fatigue damage analysis of offshore wind turbine monopile weldments

Biswal, Romali and Mehmanparast, Ali (2019) Fatigue damage analysis of offshore wind turbine monopile weldments. Procedia Structural Integrity, 17. pp. 643-650. ISSN 2452-3216 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prostr.2019.08.086)

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Offshore wind turbines (OWT) are subjected to harsh environmental conditions in addition to the variable service loads. The present study is aimed at performing a realistic fatigue life estimation of the monopile structure using operational service loads recorded by online monitoring systems. Fatigue damage analysis has been conducted at the circumferential weld joints using finite element (FE) method by considering geometrical and material property discontinuities. Global-local modelling of the OWT was performed in as-welded condition to capture the local stress range at the weld toe, which acts as the critical site where cracks are most likely to initiate and propagate. The S-N fatigue design approach and maximum stress range at the weld toe have been used to determine the fatigue crack initiation life in monopiles. The results from the proposed approach show that a realistic life assessment can be made on monopile structures by accounting for the geometrical effects at the circumferential welds.