Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.


Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis summarizes the simulation and analysis performed for the MassCEC project described herein. The intent was to perform a “dry run” of the new IEC offshore wind turbine design standard, IEC 61400-3-1 and to illustrate the use of that standard in the Massachusetts Offshore Wind Energy Area. IEC 61400-3-1 is a design standard used to ensure wind turbine structural performance over the design life of the machine. Each installed wind turbine must be certified by a Certified Verification Agent using this standard before installation. The certification process typically uses a structural dynamics model to predict a turbine’s structural response in the presence of a range of operational conditions and meteorological oceanographic conditions, which are codified into Design Load Cases. The area in question is located approximately 24 km of south of Martha’s Vineyard with an assumed water depth of 40 m. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s FAST software (V8.12) was used to perform simulations of a large subset of the DLCs. Wind data files were generated using NREL’s TurbSim and IECWind.

This thesis discusses the instructions of the standard, preparation for simulation of Design Load Cases, and analysis of results. Results from simulations show the application of the standard in detail as applied to a reference turbine. Limitations and ambiguities of the standard in the simulation of control failure cases are analyzed. The application of the standard to hurricane loading is also analyzed alongside an example case for a Category 5 hurricane. The standard is found to be fundamentally reasonable in application to a reference turbine in the Massachusetts Offshore Wind Energy Area.


First Advisor

Matthew Lackner

Second Advisor

James Manwell

Third Advisor

Jon McGowan