Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

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

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Increasing energy demand and carbon emissions have driven the development of alternative energy solutions. One promising technology is wind energy. Wind energy technology developments has advanced substantially since the 1980s. Offshore wind turbines have become a major research focus, due to the promising offshore wind resource. However, challenges in offshore wind energy have arisen due to the additional wave loading and strong wind loads. Structural control systems have been implemented and researched in order to decrease dynamic response of these systems. The previous studies were successful at decreasing fatigue loads in the tower and support structure of offshore wind turbines. Giving these results, it is still unknown if the reduced loading enabled by structural control systems can allow for reduced material costs in the major structural components.

This research examines on an offshore wind turbine's tower-monopile structure by adding several configurations of passive tuned mass dampers, while simultaneously reducing the thickness of the structure in order to reduce costs. A range of candidate tower-monopile systems are created, and simulated in FAST-SC with and without passive tuned mass dampers. Fatigue and ultimate loads are calculated and analyzed. A variety of design criteria are considered including fatigue and ultimate loads, as well as local and global buckling. The results demonstrate that the tower-monopile thickness may be reduced up to 6.2% and still satisfy all design criteria.

First Advisor

Matthew A. Lackner