Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Early Age Behavior of Wind Turbine Gravity Foundations

Authors: J. Modu, J. F. Georgin, L. Briançon, E. Antoinet


Wind turbine gravity foundations are designed to resist overturning failure through gravitational forces resulting from their masses. Owing to the relatively high volume of the cementitious material present, the foundations tend to suffer thermal strains and internal cracking due to high temperatures and temperature gradients depending on factors such as geometry, mix design and level of restraint. This is a result of a fully coupled mechanism commonly known as THMC (Thermo- Hygro - Mechanical - Chemical) coupling whose kinetics peak during the early age of concrete. The focus of this paper is therefore to present and offer a discussion on the temperature and humidity evolutions occurring in mass pours such as wind turbine gravity foundations based on sensor results obtained from the monitoring of an actual wind turbine foundation. To offer prediction of the evolutions, the formulation of a 3D Thermal-Hydro-Chemical (THC) model that is mainly derived from classical fundamental physical laws is also presented and discussed. The THC model can be mathematically fully coupled in Finite Element analyses. In the current study, COMSOL Multi-physics software was used to simulate the 3D THC coupling that occurred in the monitored wind turbine foundation to predict the temperature evolution at five different points within the foundation from time of casting.

Keywords: Early age behavior, reinforced concrete, THC 3D models, wind turbines.

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