Ridge Loads on Wind Turbine Structures

Croasdale, K. (K R Croasdale & Associates Ltd.) | Allyn, N. (CMO Consultants Ltd.)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Wind turbine towers are being planned in ice covered regions subject to pressure ridges (e.g. the Great Lakes). Conical collars are often employed to reduce ice loads from level ice and their associated dynamics. For level ice, downward breaking cones have some advantages. It is not clear if this is the case for pressure ridges. This paper presents an improved method for ridge loads on wind turbines with downward breaking cones and makes comparisons with upward breaking cones.

First year pressure ridges can be formidable ice features and usually control design ice loads in the sub-Arctic. Important components of a ridge creating ice loads are the consolidated layer at the surface (which is considered as solid ice) and the ridge keel below consisting of ice rubble, but much thicker. The load due to the consolidated layer is usually derived as if it is thick level ice. On a cone, methods for level ice assume it can be idealized as a plate on an elastic foundation (the water) and equations have been developed for upward and downward breaking cones. But for a ridge on a downward cone, to break the consolidated layer downwards requires it to be pushed into the keel rubble below. This will have a different foundation modulus than water buoyancy. A method is developed to account for this difference. The method uses an iterative approach to determine the point of breaking of the consolidated layer (and associated load) accounting for the ridge geometry, keel rubble shear strength, the flexural strength of the consolidated layer and the buoyancy forces. The keel loads on the vertical shaft below the conical collar are based on the method currently in ISO 19906 (2010) but modified to add the effect of additional rubble in the keel from breaking the consolidated layer downwards.

In examples, it is shown that the breaking force can be about twice that of breaking the consolidated layer without the keel present. This might be seen as a disadvantage for downward breaking cones vs upward breaking. However, it is also shown that the clearing forces on an upward cone are higher; which tends to balance out the lower breaking force. Example loads are given on typical wind turbine bases due to typical ridges. Upward and downward breaking configurations are compared.

The paper provides new methods for ice loads due to ridges acting on wind turbine structures not currently covered by existing methods.