Calibration of safety factors for offshore wind turbine support structures using fully coupled simulations

Alexandre Morato Casademunt, Srinivas Sriramula* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


The offshore wind industry experienced a boost during the last decade in terms of size of wind farms and rated capacity of the wind turbines: towers are getting taller and blades are getting longer, constantly facing new and complex challenges. Because of the relative immaturity of the wind industry, and the fact that the offshore design standards stemmed from the oil and gas industry, it is generally acknowledged that the reliability levels achieved, although not very well understood, might result in partial safety factors not optimal for OWT. This paper addresses this situation by studying the reliability levels delivered by the
current standards and assessing the validity of the safety factors through a reliability-based code calibration. The combination of the low probability of failure imposed on the design of OWTs and the computational cost of the aeroelastic time-domain simulations brings out the need to develop new approaches for reliability analyses. In this paper, the reliability analysis is performed using a Kriging surrogate model to approximate the load-effect from the aero-elastic simulations converting expensive-to-evaluate limit state functions to explicit functions. Subsequently, a calibration of the safety factors is carried out using the probabilistic models from literature. The approach is applied to an industryreference turbine and support structure. The results showed very low probabilities of failure for the most severe design cases and confirm that the safety factors from the IEC are mostly adequate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102880
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Structures
Early online date28 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Offshore wind turbines structures
  • code calibration
  • reliability
  • Kriging
  • aeroelastic simulations
  • Code calibration
  • Reliability
  • Aero-elastic simulations


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