Thunderstorms are destructive phenomena at the mesoscale with extension of few kilometres and short duration, potentially dangerous for mid-low structures. The nonstationary nature of the wind field generated by thunderstorm outflows makes most of the theory and models developed for extra-tropical cyclones unsuitable and their small extension make them difficult to be detected by one single anemometer. These circumstances prevent the collection of precious data over which research can be carried out and the development of robust models for rapid engineering calculations shared by the scientific community. Therefore, a unified and reliable analytical model for the assessment of the maximum dynamic response to thunderstorms coherent with the techniques commonly adopted in wind engineering is not yet available. In this framework, the thesis introduces an Evolutionary Power Spectral Density (EPSD) model of the wind velocity related of thunderstorm outflows, consistent with full-scale records, and studies its application to calculate the alongwind dynamic response of structures and its maximum from an operative perspective. The EPSD model is derived starting from the analysis of 129 full-scale thunderstorm records, assuming the turbulent fluctuations uniformly modulated and the turbulence intensity constant. The reliability of the assumptions are verified on the basis of the data available. Three analytical models for the modulating function of the slowly-varying mean wind velocity are proposed. The models are based on the functions extracted from the records and include parameters of physical meaning for the thunderstorm outflow. Moreover, the possibility of adopting the classical spectral models of synoptic winds to model the stationary part of the turbulence is verified. Successively, the EPSD model is adopted to calculate the dynamic response of a set of linear elastic point-like SDOF systems with variable fundamental frequency and damping ratio, both accounting and neglecting the effects of the transient dynamics. In this framework a closed-form solution of the Evolutionary Frequency Response Function (EFRF) is derived. The mean value of the maximum response is estimated based on an Equivalent Parameter Technique (EPT) from literature, generalizing the Davenport’s gust factor technique. The effects of the Poisson hypothesis are investigated and mitigated introducing an equivalent expected frequency. The results are validated with the ones obtained in the time domain starting from the real thunderstorm records available. Successively, a sensitivity analysis is carried out to assess the influence on the maximum dynamic response of the parameters that shape the modulating function of the velocity. A closed-form solution for the equivalent parameters and the gust factor is introduced. The comparison with alternative formulations proposed in the literature demonstrates the improved accuracy of the proposed one. Finally, the formulation is extended to the analysis of slender vertical structures, adopting a vertical profile for the mean wind velocity from the literature and the equivalent wind spectrum technique. Two case studies of vertical slender structures are analysed and a comparison with synoptic wind loading conditions is outlined, showing that the proposed model constitutes a valid and handy tool for the evaluation of the wind loading on structures provided by thunderstorm outflows.

Evolutionary spectral model for thunderstorm outflows and application to the analysis of the dynamic response of structures

RONCALLO, LUCA
2022

Abstract

Thunderstorms are destructive phenomena at the mesoscale with extension of few kilometres and short duration, potentially dangerous for mid-low structures. The nonstationary nature of the wind field generated by thunderstorm outflows makes most of the theory and models developed for extra-tropical cyclones unsuitable and their small extension make them difficult to be detected by one single anemometer. These circumstances prevent the collection of precious data over which research can be carried out and the development of robust models for rapid engineering calculations shared by the scientific community. Therefore, a unified and reliable analytical model for the assessment of the maximum dynamic response to thunderstorms coherent with the techniques commonly adopted in wind engineering is not yet available. In this framework, the thesis introduces an Evolutionary Power Spectral Density (EPSD) model of the wind velocity related of thunderstorm outflows, consistent with full-scale records, and studies its application to calculate the alongwind dynamic response of structures and its maximum from an operative perspective. The EPSD model is derived starting from the analysis of 129 full-scale thunderstorm records, assuming the turbulent fluctuations uniformly modulated and the turbulence intensity constant. The reliability of the assumptions are verified on the basis of the data available. Three analytical models for the modulating function of the slowly-varying mean wind velocity are proposed. The models are based on the functions extracted from the records and include parameters of physical meaning for the thunderstorm outflow. Moreover, the possibility of adopting the classical spectral models of synoptic winds to model the stationary part of the turbulence is verified. Successively, the EPSD model is adopted to calculate the dynamic response of a set of linear elastic point-like SDOF systems with variable fundamental frequency and damping ratio, both accounting and neglecting the effects of the transient dynamics. In this framework a closed-form solution of the Evolutionary Frequency Response Function (EFRF) is derived. The mean value of the maximum response is estimated based on an Equivalent Parameter Technique (EPT) from literature, generalizing the Davenport’s gust factor technique. The effects of the Poisson hypothesis are investigated and mitigated introducing an equivalent expected frequency. The results are validated with the ones obtained in the time domain starting from the real thunderstorm records available. Successively, a sensitivity analysis is carried out to assess the influence on the maximum dynamic response of the parameters that shape the modulating function of the velocity. A closed-form solution for the equivalent parameters and the gust factor is introduced. The comparison with alternative formulations proposed in the literature demonstrates the improved accuracy of the proposed one. Finally, the formulation is extended to the analysis of slender vertical structures, adopting a vertical profile for the mean wind velocity from the literature and the equivalent wind spectrum technique. Two case studies of vertical slender structures are analysed and a comparison with synoptic wind loading conditions is outlined, showing that the proposed model constitutes a valid and handy tool for the evaluation of the wind loading on structures provided by thunderstorm outflows.
Evolutionary power spectral density; Turbulent fluctuations; Time domain analysis; Nonstationary dynamic response; Nonstationary peak factor; Response spectrum technique; Gust factor; Closed-form solution; Thunderstorm outflows; Wind engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1080956
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