A study carried out by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València’s Institute of Science and Technology of Concrete (ICITECH) and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden promises to revolutionise the structural design of wind turbines, offering solutions that are up to 15 per cent more sustainable than traditional designs.
The study presents an innovative and efficient method for optimising the design of wind turbine foundations, thus improving energy efficiency in their construction. According to the researchers, the optimisation method has 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,’ explained Víctor Yepes, a researcher at ICITECH. ‘It uses metamodels, such as Kriging, to improve efficiency and reduce the computational cost of the design-optimisation process.’
The research 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 20 instead of 1,000 different designs. We also found that these designs are more sustainable than conventional designs,’ said Yepes.
The advantages of the new method also include a significant reduction in costs – both financial and computational – and time when designing wind turbine foundations.
Although this study focused on the design of wind turbine foundations, the proposed method can be applied to other structures used in civil engineering or building construction. Furthermore, the Kriging meta-modelling technique is widely used in industry and can be applied to a variety of structural-design projects.
‘Our work can be useful for optimising other civil engineering structures, such as bridges or buildings,’ Yepes said. ‘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.
The research has been published in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization.