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Dr. Breiffni Fitzgerald
Ussher Assistant Professor, Civil Struct & Env. Eng.

Biography

Dr Breiffni Fitzgerald received the B.A.I. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and 2013, respectively. He was a Research Fellow with Trinity College Dublin from 2013 to 2014 and a Lecturer with the Technological University of Dublin from 2015 to 2016. He is currently an Ussher Assistant Professor in Energy in the School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin.

His research interests include wind turbine aerodynamics and structural dynamics, dynamics and damping of structures, wind engineering, vibration control, and control theory. He has received funding to work in these areas from the Irish Research Council, Enterprise Ireland, H2020, SEAI and industry partners.

Dr Fitzgerald is a Chartered Engineer of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He has been appointed by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) as a technical expert for the development of Structural Eurocode EN 1991-1-4: Wind loads. Dr Fitzgerald has also been appointed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to serve as Ireland's international expert on the Research Task on Wind Farm Control.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Nonlinear model predictive control to reduce pitch actuation of floating offshore wind turbines, IFAC-PapersOnLine, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI TARA - Full Text

Breiffni Fitzgerald, A Comparison of Soil Structure Interaction Models for Dynamic Analysis of Offshore Wind Turbines, The Science of Making Torque from Wind (TORQUE 2020), Delft, the Netherlands, 2020 Conference Paper, 2020 DOI TARA - Full Text

Breiffni Fitzgerald, An Assessment of the Potential for Co-located Offshore Wind and Wave Farms in Ireland, Energy, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text DOI URL

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Vibration Control of Wind Turbines: Recent Advances and Emerging Trends, International Journal of Sustainable Materials and Structural Systems, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI TARA - Full Text

Magneto-rheological Tuned Liquid Column Dampers to Improve Reliability of Wind Turbine Towers in, Advances in Rotor Dynamics, Control, and Structural Health Monitoring, Singapore, Springer, 2020, pp467 - 496, [Breiffni Fitzgerald] Book Chapter, 2020 DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Tuned mass-damper-inerter (TMDI) for suppressing edgewise vibrations of wind turbine blades, Engineering Structures, 221, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text DOI

Saptarshi Sarkar, Lin Chen, Breiffni Fitzgerald and Biswajit Basu, Multi-resolution wavelet pitch controller for spar-type floating offshore wind turbines including wave-current interactions, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 470 (2020) 115170, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI TARA - Full Text URL

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Individual Blade Pitch Control of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines for Load Mitigation and Power Regulation, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text DOI URL

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Vibration control of spar‐type floating offshore wind turbine towers using a tuned mass‐damper‐inerter, Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI TARA - Full Text

A. Staino, R. Abou-Eid, A. Rojas, B. Fitzgerald, B. Basu , Health Monitoring and Aging Assessment of HVAC Refrigerant Compressors in Railway Systems, IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC), Auckland, NZ, October 2019, 2019, pp2177 - 2182 Conference Paper, 2019 DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Andrea Staino,and Biswajit Basu, Wavelet‐based individual blade pitch control for vibration control of wind turbine blades, Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI TARA - Full Text

Breiffni Fitzgerlad, Saptarshi Sarkar and Andrea Staino, Improved reliability of wind turbine towers with active tuned mass dampers (ATMDs), Journal of Sound and Vibration, Volume 419, 2018, p103 - 122 Journal Article, 2018 URL DOI

David Igoe, Luke Prendergast, Breiffni Fitzgerald and Saptarshi Sarkar, Numerical modelling of a monopile for estimating the natural frequency of an offshore wind turbine, China - Europe Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, Vienna, August 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Saptarshi Sarkar, Breiffni Fitzgerald, Biswajit Basu, Development of a Flexible Multibody Dynamics Wind Turbine Model following Kane's Method, Civil Engineering Research in Ireland, Dublin, August 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018 TARA - Full Text

David Igoe, Breiffni Fitzgerald and Saptarshi Sarkar, Monopile soil-structure interaction for estimating the dynamic response of an offshore wind turbine, Civil Engineering Research in Ireland, Dublin, August 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018 TARA - Full Text

Breiffni Fitzgerald and Biswajit Basu, A monitoring system for wind turbines subjected to combined seismic and turbulent aerodynamic loads, Structural Monitoring and Maintenance, 4, (2), 2017, p175 - 194 Journal Article, 2017 DOI URL

Saptarshi Sarkar, Breiffni Fitzgerald, Biswajit Basu and Arunasis Chakraborty, MAGNETO-RHEOLOGICAL TUNED LIQUID COLUMN DAMPERS TO IMPROVE RELIABILITY OF WIND TURBINE TOWERS, 13th International Conference on Vibration Problems, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India, 29/11/2017, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017 URL TARA - Full Text

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Biswajit Basu, Structural control of wind turbines with soil structure interaction included, Engineering Structures, 111, 2016, p131-151 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald and Biswajit Basu, DYNAMICS OF ONSHORE WIND TURBINES WITH SOIL STRUCTURE INTERACTION, 2015 Conference Paper, 2015

Breiffni Fitzgerald and Biswajit Basu, Cable connected active tuned mass dampers for control of in-plane vibrations of wind turbine blades, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 333, (23), 2014, p5980 - 6004 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald and Biswajit Basu, Active tuned mass damper control of wind turbine nacelle/tower vibrations with damaged foundations, Key Engineering Materials, 569-570, 2013, p560 - 567 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald, Biswajit Basu and Søren R.K. Nielsen, Active tuned mass dampers for control of in-plane vibrations in wind turbine blades, Journal of Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 20, (12), 2013, p1377-1396 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Breiffni Fitzgerald, John Arrigan and Biswajit Basu, Damage detection in wind turbine blades using time-frequency analysis of vibration signals, The 2010 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN), IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Barcelona, Spain, 18-23 July 2010, IEEE, 2010, pp1-5 Conference Paper, 2010 DOI

Research Expertise

Projects

  • Title
    • Enhanced Controllers for Wind Farms
  • Summary
    • This project will model, develop and experimentally test novel wind farm controllers that will improve the efficiency of the existing fleet of Irish wind farms accounting for turbulent effects in the wake. The effects of rapidly changing wake aerodynamics due to turbulence will be considered in the wind farm models and controllers. The project will simulate, in real-time, the interaction of the controlled wind farms with the Irish electrical grid and will demonstrate increased wind farm energy yield from the existing fleet of Irish wind farms. The impact of the developed controllers on O&M strategies for wind farms will also be investigated. Traditionally the power output of each turbine in a wind farm is controlled independently. In this project novel controllers will be developed utilising hardware already installed on the wind turbines (i.e. yaw controllers, pitch controllers, torque controllers and power electronic devices) and they will cooperate with each other to optimise the wind farm's overall performance rather than optimising each turbine's individual performance. This project will simulate and study various wind turbine and wind farm scenarios in a real time system. The new controllers will be modelled and demonstrated using authentic wind farm data from real wind farms. The aim of the project is to increase the efficiency of Ireland's existing fleet of wind farms to obtain increased wind farm energy yield, increased wind turbine availability and longer wind farm life due to enhanced O&M practices.
  • Funding Agency
    • SEAI
  • Date From
    • 1 December 2018
  • Date To
    • 1 December 2021
  • Title
    • Control and Power Take-off Optimization for WRAM (CAPTOW)
  • Summary
    • The WRAM is a powerful, single-bodied heaving buoy point absorber with a pneumatic PTO, intended for utility-scale arrays in deep-water ocean sites. The main CAPTOW objective is to optimise the control algorithms and PTO systems, backed by empirical tests. Simulations will predict performance, loads and forces, and are being validated by tank tests with true scale models. Key Deliverables - Predicted performance, loads and forces from WEC-Sim, CFX, RANSE and SPH solvers validated by tank tests. - Assessment of RANSE and SPH solvers. - Control algorithms developed and tested using real-time hybrid systems test rig. - Prototype PTO system designed, built and tested. - Techno-economic evaluation and estimated LCOE.
  • Funding Agency
    • European Commission
  • Date From
    • 03-07-2017
  • Date To
    • 31-12-2021
  • Title
    • Development of damping parameters for Irish Offshore Wind Farms
  • Summary
    • In order to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions targets set out in the Paris agreement, Ireland will need to significantly decarbonise its energy supply. Due to reducing costs, offshore wind now offers the most viable means for large scale decarbonisation of Irelands electricity supply by 2030. It is predicted that the offshore wind installation rate in Europe will increase 400% resulting in an industry worth more than €20 Billion per year in Europe alone. In Ireland, it is estimated that 1.8GW of offshore wind capacity at an estimated cost of ~€4.5 billion, will be installed by 2030. One of the key challenges in the engineering design of an Offshore Wind Turbine (OWT) relates to choosing appropriate values for damping of the OWT structure. Choosing more realistic values of damping in design can lead to significant reductions in the calculated loads acting on the structure, and also large reductions in fatigue damage, which can lead to savings of up to 10% in steel weight across the structure. In the Irish context this would equate to potential cost savings of ~€230m by 2030 (assuming 1.8GW of offshore wind is developed) and in excess of €1 billion per year across Europe. The primary goal of this project is to advance the scientific knowledge of OWT damping and provide accurate and realistic damping values for use in the design of Irish offshore wind farms, specific to soil types and conditions relevant for potential offshore wind development zones around Ireland.
  • Funding Agency
    • SEAI
  • Date From
    • December 2019
  • Date To
    • December 2022

Keywords

ACTIVE CONTROL; Civil Engineering; CONTROL SYSTEMS; Integration of Renewable Energy Systems; Renewable energy; Smart Cities; Soil Mechanics & Foundations; Structural Design; Structural Dynamics; Structural Engineering; WIND; Wind Energy and Wind Turbines; Wind, Wind Energy Engineering

Recognition

Representations

Engineers Ireland - Structures & Construction Committee Member 2015-

Institute of Structural Engineers - Ireland Branch Committee Member 2015-

Awards and Honours

Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Student Prize 2010

Collen Prize in Engineering 2009

Gold Medal, Trinity College Dublin 2009

Irish Research Council Award 2009

Memberships

Engineers Ireland, Chartered Engineer (CEng) 2007