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Parametric lightweight design of a direct-drive wind turbine electrical generator supporting structure for minimizing dynamic response

Jaen Sola, Pablo; Oterkusb, E.; McDonald, A.S.


E. Oterkusb

A.S. McDonald


Heavy, large and robust supporting structures are needed to keep the airgap clearance of direct-drive multi-MW wind turbine electrical generators open and stable. As rotating pieces of machinery, generators vibrate when their natural frequencies are excited introducing potentially large amplitude oscillations due to the forces acting on them that could cause structural fatigue, noise and, in the worst-case scenario, their sudden collapse. A novel procedure for cost-effective and dynamically efficient structural design of a generator has been developed through a series of different finite element studies for a proposed 3MW machine with a conical rotor structure working under extreme conditions. Following a parametric approach coupled with the use of a topology optimisation tool it was demonstrated that the structural mass and dynamic response of the machine can be minimised, while complying with the deflection requirements.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2021
Online Publication Date May 21, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2021
Print ISSN 1744-5302
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue Sup 1: Papers from the 2020 International Conference on Ships and Offshore Structures
Pages 266-274
Keywords Offshore direct-drive wind turbine, generator structure, parametric approach, topology optimisation, dynamic design
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Parametric Lightweight Design Of A Direct-drive Wind Turbine Electrical Generator Supporting Structure For Minimizing Dynamic Response (1.6 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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