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Flood safety on dikes with wind turbines

Many governments want to realize wind power, because it is a technology that promotes sustainable energy.

16 Oct 2015
W.R. Halter


That is why there is need for locations for wind farms (groups of wind turbines). Dikes are good locations for wind farms, because of favourable wind conditions, the absence of cultivation and the presence of road infrastructure. However, wind turbines near dikes might have negative effects on their primary function: flood safety. A recent trend is that wind turbines become larger.
This increases the possibility of damage if the superstructure fails. Current directives, handbooks and guidelines treat the topics of flood safety and failure of wind turbines separately. A custom-made overview of the risks is needed for each project to ensure
an adequate risk reduction strategy. An integrated approach is required to assess flood risk resulting from failure of these superstructures. This paper presents an integrated risk approach for wind turbines on dikes based on new research. This approach consists of systematic steps and includes the life cycle of both structures (wind turbines and dikes), which are assuredly interlinked. One important risk during the exploitation phase is highlighted: the incident of a falling blade or nacelle. The probability of such an incident is very low. However, if it falls on an important dike even this small probability might become relevant. This is because the required minimum probability of dike failure is relatively low. A Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) provides insight into the probability of a falling object on an earth dike.


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