Truss Tower Analysis: Static Analysis of a Truss Tower used to Support a Wind Turbine
PublisherMonroe Community College
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AbstractDue to the massive size of modern day wind turbines, the stability of their support towers is critical. This project examines structural forces present in a four-sided truss tower modeled as a support system for a wind turbine. Case I examined only forces due to the weight of the nacelle and rotor, while Case II also incorporated lateral wind force. All forces were idealized as concentrated forces and theoretic analysis was completed using static equilibrium concepts and truss/frame analysis techniques. A PASCO Structure kit was used to construct a model and validate theoretical findings. Weights were applied to the model and the resulting axial forces were measured using load cells. Experimental data concurred with the theoretical analysis within the measured uncertainty, indicating the tower was accurately analyzed as a frame/truss structure. Case I found support forces were isolated to only the vertical members while Case II showed significant axial forces on both vertical and diagonal members local to the applied wind force. Findings indicate that several considerations should be taken into account when designing such support systems, including tower geometry, length of structural members, nacelle orientation, and environmental conditions. Future analysis should incorporate tower dynamics and material properties.
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