Time-domain analysis of solar concentrator structure under gust wind
Kaabia, Bassem; Langlois, Sébastien; Maheux, Sébastien; Légeron, Frédéric
SubjectFinite element model
Abstract: Accurate evaluation of wind load effects on solar structures is important for optimizing their design. Gust wind and its dynamic effect may be significant for this type of structure, however while time-domain numerical simulations are powerful tools to predict the dynamic response, they are rarely used for wind analysis because of the complexity of aerodynamic force models and the difficulty of performing full-scale validations. This paper aims to validate a time-domain dynamic analysis method used to predict the statistical parameters of 10 minute full-scale measurements response of a solar concentrator structure under service wind load conditions. A finite element model of the solar concentrator support was developed and time-domain dynamic (TD) analyses were performed. As a comparison, the acceptability of this method is also revisited in the light of the ASCE 7-10 and the spectral approach prediction. Full-scale measurements and corresponding simulations covered different configurations depending on the pitch angle and loading case. The measured wind speed is converted to drag force, lift force and pitching moment applied to the finite element model. An aerodynamic force model based on the buffeting indicial response function (IRF) associated to the aerodynamic admittance function for flat plate is used for TD analyses of different configurations. Results are compared in terms of statistical parameters, such as the standard deviation and gust effect factors. It was found that, despite the simplified hypotheses taken especially for wind load and structural model, in many cases the proposed approach gives slightly better results for the statistical parameters compared to the spectral approach. Therefore, its overall acceptability is validated. This time-domain approach could then be used to study the linear and nonlinear dynamic structural response of solar concentrator structures under wind load and thus identify optimal design configurations to meet both serviceability and ultimate loading conditions.
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