TÜV SÜD Model Determines if Offshore Wind Turbines Can Withstand Tropical Storms

TÜV SÜD has developed a computer model to demonstrate the suitability of offshore wind turbines to the regions impacted by tropical storms based on the international IEC 61400 standard within the scope of type certification.

As a crucial prerequisite for the expansion of offshore wind energy in regions with tropical cyclones, wind turbines must be able to withstand extreme climate conditions, the company said.

Using the international IEC 61400 standard as a basis, TÜV SÜD has developed a computer model enabling the impacts of such extreme wind situations on wind turbines to be simulated.

”The standard defines requirements for the use of WECs at specific sites, which are taken into account in ‘type approval,” said Florian Weber from the Wind Service Center at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH.

To this end, the standard defines several wind classes. Edition 4 of the standard now introduces the new wind class T1 for tropical cyclones – also known as typhoons or hurricanes, depending on the region.

”Our computer model enables us to simulate even the most extreme wind conditions in regions impacted by tropical cyclones, and to use our simulation as a basis to verify whether a wind turbine is suitable for such regions,” said Thorsten Weidl, risk management expert at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH.

”Furthermore, our computer model provides far more precise predictions than the ‘Gumble method’, which is not recognised by most countries in the Asian-Pacific region.”

TÜV SÜD documents the suitability of a WEC (wind energy converter) for wind class T1 in the relevant type approval, which generally forms the basis for the regulatory approval of a WEC and is also required by international investors.

Photo: Siemens Gamesa/Illustration