Experimental study into the effect of wind-ice misalignment on the development of ice-induced vibrations of offshore wind turbines

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The effect of misalignment between wind- and ice loading direction on the development of ice-induced vibrations of offshore wind turbines has been investigated experimentally. In the experiments a hybrid test setup was used to study the structural response to combined loading from physical model ice and numerically applied wind. The motivation for this study was the high uncertainty in the design of offshore wind turbine support structures in cold regions, caused by scarcity of full-scale and model-scale data on ice-structure interaction. Test results revealed that misaligned scenarios result in the development of sustained ice-induced vibrations in the ice load direction. The test results also showed that ice-induced vibrations can develop up to higher ice drift speeds for misaligned scenarios than for aligned scenarios. Both observations are considered to be related to low total damping in the ice drift direction for a misaligned scenario. Further comparison between a 90°-misaligned operational and an aligned idling scenario revealed that wind-induced structural displacements perpendicular to the ice drift direction do not cause the ice to fail. On the contrary, it was shown that the ice constrains the wind-induced motion for low relative velocities between ice and structure. For high relative velocities, wind-induced displacements approach those in open water as the ice fails in rapid succession at the sides of the structure during crushing. The analysis of a misaligned scenario with a smaller misalignment angle revealed that vibrations occur perpendicular to the ice drift direction and are characterized by relatively low amplitude and high frequency. The ice, being in contact with the structure, neither prevented those vibrations nor failed.