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Province of Zeeland – Vopak Terminal Vlissingen

Wind energy is gaining popularity also in the Netherlands. Government’s attention is being attracted by the possibility of accidents by placement of (large) wind turbines close to industrialised or populated regions. For a case in the south-west of the Netherlands, more insight had to be gained on the risk of a wind turbine placement close to a liquid gas transfer station. A study has been performed in order to assess the effect of a wind turbine blade failure and subsequent blade crash onto a nearby liquid gas tank wagons, with risk  of a BLEVE and/or sympathetic detonation.
A literature study provided sufficient information on related subjects such as tank wagon crash studies and failure assessment. In a preliminary study the structural properties, i.e. geometry and material, of the concerning structures have been retrieved from general sources and manufacturers. Data sheets and manufacturers info provided useful information on different operating conditions. An explicit finite element analysis has been performed of a wind turbine blade impact onto the liquid gas filled tank wagon, taking into account the variations in operating conditions. A simple fracture criterion, distinguishing between different material properties of the pressure vessel steel and the welds, indicated fracture initiation and onset of leakage of the tank wagon. Subsequent effects have not been regarded. Resulting graphs showed the relation of the internal tank pressure and colliding mass at a given velocity, for the condition of failure initiation in the pressure vessel steel and in the weld.
The results of this study have been applied in decision-making with respect to the request for building activity of a specific wind turbine close to a liquid gas transfer station.

Applied methods / software:

  • Abaqus explicit
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