Structural optimization with several discrete design variables per part by outer approximation
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The article proposes an optimal design approach to minimize the mass of load carrying structures with discrete design variables. The design variables are chosen from catalogues, and several variables are assigned to each part of the structure. This allows for more design freedom than only choosing parts from a catalogue. The problems are modelled as mixed 0–1 nonlinear problems with nonconvex continuous relaxations. An algorithm based on outer approximation is proposed to find optimized designs. The capabilities of the approach are demonstrated by optimal design of a space frame (jacket) structure for offshore wind turbines, with requirements on natural frequencies, strength, and fatigue lifetime.
KeywordsStructural optimization Outer approximation Offshore wind turbines Jacket structures Discrete variables
The research presented in this manuscript is part of the strategic research project ABYSS: Advancing BeYond Shallow waterS - Optimal design of offshore wind turbine support structures (www.abyss.dk). The project is funded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The funding is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable inputs to the final manuscript. In particular, the suggested benchmark with the genetic algorithm provided new insights to the performance of the presented optimization approach.
We would like to thank our colleague Alexander Verbart for his contributions to JADOP.
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