This study evaluated, by time-domain simulations, the fatigue lives of several jacket support structures for 4 MW wind turbines distributed throughout an offshore wind farm off Taiwan’s west coast. An in-house RANS-based wind farm analysis tool, WiFa3D, has been developed to determine the effects of the wind turbine wake behaviour on the flow fields through wind farm clusters. To reduce computational cost, WiFa3D employs actuator disk models to simulate the body forces imposed on the flow field by the target wind turbines, where the actuator disk is defined by the swept region of the rotor in space, and a body force distribution representing the aerodynamic characteristics of the rotor is assigned within this virtual disk. Simulations were performed for a range of environmental conditions, which were then combined with preliminary site survey metocean data to produce a long-term statistical environment. The short-term environmental loads on the wind turbine rotors were calculated by an unsteady blade element momentum (BEM) model of the target 4 MW wind turbines. The fatigue assessment of the jacket support structure was then conducted by applying the Rainflow Counting scheme on the hot spot stresses variations, as read-out from Finite Element results, and by employing appropriate SN curves. The fatigue lives of several wind turbine support structures taken at various locations in the wind farm showed significant variations with the preliminary design condition that assumed a single wind turbine without wake disturbance from other units.

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