Fatigue Reliability and Calibration of Fatigue Design Factors for Offshore Wind Turbines

Sergio Marquez Dominguez, John Dalsgaard Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Consequences of failure of offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are in general lower than consequences of failure of, e.g., oil & gas platforms. It is reasonable that lower fatigue design factors can be applied for fatigue design of OWTs when compared to other fixed offshore structures. Calibration of appropriate partial safety factors/Fatigue Design Factors (FDF) for steel substructures for OWTs is the scope of this paper. A reliability-based approach is used and a probabilistic model has been developed, where design and limit state equations are established for fatigue failure. The strength and load uncertainties are described by stochastic variables. SN and fracture mechanics approaches are considered for to model the fatigue life. Further, both linear and bi-linear SN-curves are formulated and various approximations are investigated. The acceptable reliability level for fatigue failure of OWTs is discussed and results are presented for calibrated optimal fatigue design factors. Further, the influence of inspections is considered in order to extend and maintain a given target safety level.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1816-1834
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Wind Turbine
  • Fatigue Design Factors
  • Calibration
  • Reliability
  • Inspections
  • Stochastic Models

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