A study carried out by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), belonging to the Institute of Science and Technology of Concrete (ICITECH), in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden), promises to revolutionise the structural design of wind turbines. Their work offers solutions that are 8-15% more sustainable than traditional wind turbine designs.
This study presents an innovative and efficient method for optimising the design of wind turbine foundations, thus improving energy efficiency in their construction. The results obtained in the study, published in the journal Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, demonstrate its applicability in large and complex projects and its potential for use in other civil structures.
"Our method makes it possible to design structures more sustainably and facilitate their construction through software that can analyse different conditions and thus optimise the final product. It uses metamodels, such as Kriging, to improve efficiency and reduce the computational cost of the design optimisation process," explains Víctor Yepes, a researcher at the ICITECH Institute of the Universitat Politècnica de València.
In their study, the Universitat Politècnica de València and Chalmers University of Technology team applied the method to a real example of wind turbine foundations in Sweden. "We found that with our approach, it is possible to obtain better designs by analysing only twenty instead of a thousand different designs. We also found that these designs are more sustainable than conventional designs," says Víctor Yepes, a researcher at the ICITECH Institute at the UPV.
The advantages of this "revolutionary method" also include a significant reduction in costs - both financial and computational - and time when designing wind turbine foundations.
Although this study focuses on the design of wind turbine foundations, the method proposed by the Spanish and Swedish researchers can be applied to other structures used in civil engineering or building construction. Furthermore, the Kriging metamodeling technique is widely used in industry and can be applied to a various structural design projects.
"Our work can be useful for optimising other civil engineering structures such as bridges or buildings. In addition, the proposed method could be applied in other fields, such as optimising manufacturing processes or developing new materials. In short, it is a novel technique with great potential for tackling and solving a wide variety of engineering design problems," concludes Víctor Yepes.
The development of this method is part of the HYDELIFE research project, funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
MATHERN, A.; PENADÉS-PLÀ, V.; ARMESTO BARROS, J.; YEPES, V. (2022). Practical metamodel-assisted multi-objective design optimisation for improved sustainability and buildability of wind turbine foundations. Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 65:46. DOI:10.1007/s00158-021-03154-0.