Offshore wind structures are being designed for seismically active areas. Load calculations can be performed in an integrated way or using a superelement approach. This study aims to demonstrate that these two approaches can give equivalent results when earthquake excitations are included as an applied load in the superelement approach.

Models of a generic 7MW wind turbine on a jacket support structure are defined in aeroelastic code Bladed and strength assessment software Sesam. Analysis is performed on the stand-alone jacket and support structure, and also including the rotor nacelle assembly. Load conditions of earthquakes, waves and wind are considered.

Time domain results show that the superelement and integrated methods for modelling earthquake loading are equivalent in terms of the motions and loads at key points of the support structure. When the tower and RNA are included, an excellent match is seen for all studied variables: interface and tower top motions, loads at the interface and in the jacket, and displacements of jacket nodes.

Analysis of the stand-alone jacket highlights differences in the approaches with regard to coupling of the hydrodynamic loading to the earthquake motion, which is absent in the superelement method. However, this does not appear to be significant for realistic cases including the tower and RNA.

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