Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 227-250 (2018)






Tao Huo1,2, Lewei Tong1, 2,* and Yunfeng Zhang2, 3

1 State Key Laboratory of Disaster Reduction in Civil engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China

2 College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

3 Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, US

*(Corresponding author: E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Received: 13 July 2016; Revised: 24 May 2017; Accepted: 25 June 2017




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Existing research in the seismic response of wind turbine tubular towers subjected to long-period ground motions is lacking, especially when soil-structure interaction (SSI) is considered. This paper discusses the seismic performance of typical pitch-controlled 1.25MW wind turbine systems, with particular focus on the influences of SSI effect and ground-motion characteristics. Modal analysis and resonance analysis are carried out first, ensuring that resonance does not occur when the tower is in operation. Two long-period waves and a bedrock wave are selected from the worldwide earthquake record database, followed by detailed dynamic time history analysis. The results indicate that the maximum displacement, acceleration, stress level and internal force responses of the tower subjected to the long-period ground motions are significantly larger than the corresponding values induced by the bedrock wave. Some responses can be further amplified due to the SSI effect, and this highlights the importance of incorporating the SSI effect into seismic design of wind turbine towers, especially for those located in soft soil regions. Furthermore, neglecting the vertical seismic action could lead to unsafe design. Other important issues, including the risk of pounding, stress concentration near the door regions, spindle shear fracture, and foundation failure, are also discussed, and summarized as references or comments for design and analysis of such structures.



Soil-structure interaction (SSI), Long-period ground motion, Wind turbine tubular towers, Time history analysis, Design and analysis comments


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