Seismic Design of Offshore Wind Turbines: Good, Bad and Unknowns

Subhamoy Bhattacharya, Suryakanta Biswal, Muhammed Aleem, Sadra Amani, Athul Prabhakaran, Ganga Kasi V. Prakhya, Domenico Lombardi, Harsh Mistry

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Large scale offshore wind farms are relatively new infrastructures and are being deployed in regions prone to earthquakes. Offshore wind farms comprise of both offshore wind turbines (OWTs) and balance of plants (BOP) facilities, such as inter-array and export cables, grid connection etc. An OWT structure can be either grounded systems (rigidly anchored to the seabed) or floating systems (with tension legs or catenary cables). OWTs are dynamically-sensitive structures made of a long slender tower with a top-heavy mass, known as Nacelle, to which a heavy rotating mass (hub and blades) is attached. These structures, apart from the variable environmental wind and wave loads, may also be subjected to earthquake related hazards in seismic zones. The earthquake hazards that can affect offshore wind farm are fault displacement, seismic shaking, subsurface liquefaction, submarine landslides, tsunami effects and a combination thereof. Procedures for seismic designing OWTs are not explicitly mentioned in current codes of practice. The aim of the paper is to discuss the seismic related challenges in the analysis and design of offshore wind farms and wind turbine structures. Different types of grounded and floating systems are considered to evaluate the seismic related effects. However, emphasis is provided on Tension Leg Platform (TLP) type floating wind turbine. Future research needs are also identified.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2021


  • seismic design
  • offshore wind turbines
  • tension leg platform
  • seismic hazards
  • ground motion analysis


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