Dynamics: Vibration Reduction

The London Eye

a) Front view                                                   b) A tuned mass damper placed inside of a tube
Fig. 18-9: The London Eye

The British Airways London Eye is the largest observation wheel in the world (Fig. 18-9a). It was built by the River Thames in the heart of London, just opposite to the Palace of Westminster. The wheel has a height of 135m and carries 32 capsules which can hold up to 800 people.

Fig. 18-10: A tuned mass damper in a tube of the London Eye

In order to reduce vibrations in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the wheel due to wind loads, 64 tuned mass dampers were installed in steel tubes which are uniformly distributed around the wheel. One of these tubes is indicated in Fig. 18-9b. The relation between the tuned mass damper and the tube is illustrated in Fig. 18-10. A mass and a spring in the tube were designed with a natural frequency close to the natural frequency of the wheel in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the wheel. Plenty of room is available in the tube to allow large movements of the tuned mass damper. No excessive vibration of the wheel has been observed in this direction since it was erected [18.4].