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balanced / unbalanced load
! =2-2.5
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reaction forces
Fx,y,z / Mx,y,z
super
element
prepared
joint cut-out
dchor
d
rigids
selected size of
superelement
beam
submodel
FEM
submodel
6 dof per
master
node
reduced system
matrices K, M, D
+ self-weight F
distributed
wave forces K, M,
D
F
joint region of
beam model submodelling
beam model with
superelements
implemented
superelement
3D visu
beam model
with rigids/ljf beam model
beams combined
with superelements
green
joint regions
with
superelements
black lines
overlapping
brace parts
Advanced representation of tubular joints in
jacket models for offshore wind turbine simulation
J an Dubois*
1,2
, Michael Muskulus
2
, Peter Schaumann
1

1)
ForWind Leibniz University of Hannover, Institute for Steel Construction
1
, Hannover, Germany
2)
Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Jacket Models with Different Level of Detail

DeepWind2013, 24-25 January. 2013, Trondheim, Norway

Motivation
Offshore wind farms are increasingly realized in water depths beyond 30m, where lattice support structures are an
interesting option to withstand the severe environmental actions. One of the main tasks for the future is the optimization of
support structure designs, making the exploitation of offshore wind resources more competitive. J acket substructures show
strong potentials in a broad spectrum of water depth from 25 up to 70m and this work addresses the optimization of
jackets, using an advanced simulation approach specifically optimized for jackets. The ultimate goal are lighter jacket
structures or improved fatigue performance. Both aspects, less material consumption as well as additional fatigue life time
lead to lower cost support structures for offshore wind turbines in deeper waters.
! simple beam models
! enhanced beam models
! consideration of chord-brace overlap (relevant for
wave loads) and local joint flexibilities (using springs)
! sophisticated beam models with joint regions as superelements

Figure 1: Jacket models with different levels of detail (shown at OC4 jacket)
simple advanced increasing accuracy
Acknowledgements
Research work has been carried out during the project Advanced jacket models for offshore
wind turbines with superelements(Project No: 21983/F11) financially supported in the framework
of the IS-Mobil programme by the

! joint geometry is cut-out of beam model (cf. Figure 1 right, green area)
! detailed FEM models of joints are generated for substructuring
! coupling of reduced system matrices of detailed joint models
(superelements) with remaining beam model at interface nodes
! global wave loading considered via load submodel of joint regions
! current size recommendations do not cover typical dimensions of
jacket joints and size of cut-out regions can even exceed bay height
Superelement Approach
Improved Superelement Application for Jackets
! rigid link increases stiffness of detailed FEM joints (cf. Figure 3, left)
! ovalization of chord walls due to local brace loading obstructed
! a minimum ratio ! of chord stub length and chord diameter is thus
necessary to avoid this artificial stiffening due to rigid links
Figure 2: Implementation of a tubular jacket joint as super element
dchord
l
c
h
o
r
d
s
tu
b
lbrace stub
dbrace
rigid link at the end of
shell elements to
enable coupling to
beammodel
master
node
unbalanced balanced
tension
compression
tension
cross sectionional
ovalization
Figure 3: Superelement dimensions and unbalanced/balanced axial joint loading
DOTI 2011
Figure 4: Normalized joint flexibility depending on ! (chord stub length to chord
diameter ratio) and " (chord diameter to chord wall thickness ratio)
typical jacket
geometry
enables small
superelements!
Master Brace
Node
M, N, V
Master
Chord
Node
out-of-plane
wave
loading
out-of-plane
bending course
x
! typical jacket geometry allows for
relatively small superelements
! small cut-out regions enable a
quasi-static extrapolation of member
forces into local joint region
(cf. Figure 5)
Enhanced fatigue performance of joints in OC4 jacket
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60%
80%
100%
relative joint damage
YY X KK
mudline
bay
KK-joint
X-joint
simplified
YY-joint
Figure 5: Joint stress extrapolation
Figure 5: Predicted fatigue damage of joints at mudline using the sophisticated
superelement model or the beam model - results normalized to beam model damage
Improved Application
! superelement size optimized
! smaller size facilitates
application on OWT jackets
! local joint stresses calculable
Conclusions
! predicted fatigue damage of essential joints significantly
reduced by ~20% (see Figure 6)
! study shows that predicted jacket fatigue life time is increased
by up to 15% - enabled by optimized superelement approach!
*E-Mail of the corresponding author:
dubois@stahl.uni-hannover.de
What about
superelement size
and
local joint stresses?