Date of Award
Master of Science
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
As wind turbines are continued to be placed at higher elevations, the need for taller wind turbine towers becomes necessary. However, there are multiple challenges associated with extending the currently used 262-ft (80-m) tall tubular steel towers to greater elevations. In this context, alternative tower designs and/or construction materials, including the use of concrete and Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC), are explored for a wind turbine tower with a 328-ft (100-m) hub height. Given the lack of existing documents for designing wind turbine towers, the current design practice for wind turbine towers and applicable design code of practice are examined and the characteristics of UHPC are reviewed. Designs for a 328-ft (100-m) tubular steel, concrete shell, UHPC Shell, and UHPC Lattice tower are completed and the benefits and challenges associated with these towers are discussed. Both UHPC tower designs are shown to be practical alternatives to steel towers due to their efficient use of material. Although no detailed cost evaluation was completed, the UHPC Lattice tower concept was found to be the most attractive as this design was formulated to increase the tower height while reducing construction, transportation, site development, and erection costs. Furthermore, it provides a variety of options for bracing the tower along its length. Consequently, the UHPC Lattice tower concept is further evaluated through the use of finite element analysis and its design was completed using UHPC members with hollow sections as bracing elements.
Thomas James Lewin
Lewin, Thomas James, "An investigation of design alternatives for 328-ft (100-m) tall wind turbine towers" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12256.