Design of Moveable Facade Elements for Energy Harvesting and Vibration Control of Super Slender Tall Buildings under Wind Excitation

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Tall buildings are increasingly built worldwide due to significant economic benefits in dense urban land use. But super-slender tall buildings are very susceptible to wind excitation. Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) and distributed-Multiple Tuned Mass Damper (d-MTMD) have been widely investigated passively and actively and proven to be effcient solutions to mitigate the structure vibration. However, they both need additional mass and huge installation space near the top of the building. In this contribution, a new semi-active distrib-uted-Multiple Tuned Façade Damper (d-MTFD) is investigated that employs the mass of the outer skin of a Double-Skin Façade (DSF) as damping mass. The outer skin of DSF at the upper storeys of the building are parallel moveable to the inner skin fixed on the primary structure. A design criterion besides the damping of the primary structure vibration is that the relative displacement of the outer skin with respect to the inner skin fixed on the primary structure should not be too large. Otherwise, it makes the occupants feel uncom-fortable and imposes too high constructional demands. Therefore, on-off ground-hook control is investigated, where the two control objectives are optimized using genetic algorithms. One control objective is to minimize the peak top floor acceleration, and the other control objective is to reduce the maximum peak relative displacement of all the moveable outer skins. This multi-objective optimization results in a Pareto Front, which allows choosing controller settings that yield a good trade-off between both objectives. The approach has been first validated in a simulation with a 306 m benchmark building for a wind speed of 13,5 m/s at 10 m above ground level with a return period of 10 years. Acceptable peak top floor accelerations for hotel usage and a maximal displacement between the primary structure and the moveable outer skin less than ± 0.5 m could be achieved despite the presence of rolling friction. The variable damping coeffcients for the on-off ground-hook control can be realized by means of a stepper motor in each moveable DSF element which acts as a generator using customized power electronics for energy harvesting. An open research question is if the harvested energy will be suffcient for enabling a self-sustainable operation of the embedded control system and power electronics. Further validations will be carried out in Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) simulations in which a currently built prototype of one moveable DSF element will be physi-cally connected to the simulation of the benchmark building.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPOWERSKIN Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2021


TitlePowerSKIN Conference 2021
SubtitleSimplicity vs. Performance
Duration9 April 2021
Degree of recognitionInternational event