This paper focuses on a reliability analysis of an offshore wind turbine support structure which is part of an assessment and monitoring framework for wind turbines in operation. The reliability analysis builds upon structural, loading, limit state and uncertainty models comprising design, production and erection data. This model basis facilitates the reliability analysis of the ultimate, the fatigue and the serviceability limit states utilizing stochastic finite elements. The complexity of the individual models dictates an efficient solution scheme for the reliability analysis. Such an algorithm is developed in the present paper consisting of an adaptive response surface algorithm and an importance sampling Monte-Carlo algorithm. The response surface algorithm is based on predetermined experimental designs and facilitates the adjustment of design parameters for an optimized prediction variance in the design point region. Approaches for the consideration of multiple design points and the augmentation of the design for reduction of the prediction variance are introduced. In this paper, a reliability analysis for a tripod support structure of a Multibrid M5000 wind turbine is performed. A comparison with the target reliabilities specified in DIN EN 1990 (2002) shows that the requirements are fully met. However, the consideration of system reliability leads to the conclusion that at the end of the service life there is a significant probability of fatigue damages. The quantification of the reliability for the individual structural components for all limit states facilitates an identification of sensitive components. The results of this study can support the targeted application of monitoring systems, the optimization of the support structures and additionally highlight the need for criteria to the systems reliability.

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