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Simultaneous identification of wind turbine vibrations by using seismic data, elastic modeling and laser Doppler vibrometry

: Zieger, Toni; Nagel, S.; Lutzmann, Peter; Kaufmann, Ilja; Ritter, J.; Ummenhofer, T.; Knödel, P.; Fischer, Peter


Wind energy 23 (2020), No.4, pp.1145-1153
ISSN: 1095-4244
ISSN: 1099-1824
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ICT ()
Fraunhofer IOSB ()
induced seismicity; laser Doppler vibrometry; numerical modeling; seismic noise; wind turbines

This work compares continuous seismic ground motion recordings over several months on top of the foundation and in the near field of a wind turbine (WT) at Pfinztal, Germany, with numerical tower vibration simulations and simultaneous optical measurements. We are able to distinguish between the excitation of eigenfrequencies of the tower-nacelle system and the influence of the blade rotation on seismic data by analyzing different wind and turbine conditions. We can allocate most of the major spectral peaks to either different bending modes of the tower, flapwise, and edgewise bending modes of the blades or multiples of the blade-passing frequency after comparing seismic recordings with tower simulation models. These simulations of dynamic properties of the tower are based on linear modal analysis performed with finite beam elements. To validate our interpretations of the comparison of seismic recordings and simulations, we use optical measurements of a laser Doppler vibrometer at the tower of the turbine at a height of about 20 m. The calculated power spectrum of the tower vibrations confirms our interpretation of the seismic peaks regarding the tower bending modes. This work gives a new understanding of the source mechanisms of WT-induced ground motions and their influence on seismic data by using an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, our results may be used for structural health purposes as well as the development of structural damping methods, which can also reduce ground motion emissions from WTs. Furthermore, it demonstrates how numerical simulations of wind turbines can be validated by using seismic recordings and laser Doppler vibrometry.