Influence of soil–structure modelling techniques on offshore wind turbine monopile structural response

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Abstract

The importance of appropriate offshore wind turbine (OWT) monopile structural modelling technique cannot be overstated in the successful design and installation of a new generation of larger and heavier structures to deliver the increasing capacity demand. The lack of clear design guidance and acceptable structural modelling techniques across the industry results in a range of conservative but expensive design and installation techniques. Most of the OWT monopile modelling efforts lie in the substructure (foundation) and interaction with the supporting soil which is highly nonlinear along the length of the embedment depth of the monopile structure. Typically, monopile offshore wind turbine structural modelling can be completed using, amongst others, one of the following techniques: 3D finite element modelling with mass soil foundation, API p‐y curve soil springs, JeanJean soil springs, and the newly developed PISA modelling approach. The study presented in this paper considers the application of the 3D finite element modelling with mass soil, API p‐y soil springs, and the JeanJean soil springs technique. By comparing the structural response, the 3D finite element modelling with mass soil results in an improved natural frequency and harmonic response. Furthermore, a reduced displacement was observed in the 3D finite element model with mass soil which will ultimately result in a corresponding improvement in the structure's useful operational design life. The application of the API p‐y soil springs, JeanJean soil springs, and other modelling techniques requires extensive calibration to ensure the correct structural response and behaviour are achieved. This becomes a key factor as the boundaries of the size of the structure and turbine capacity are pushed even further for the new concept generation offshore wind turbines, which are required to deliver a higher capacity of 12 to 15 MW with the aim of achieving 20 MW, whilst achieving an efficient cost‐effective engineering design and installation process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1012
Number of pages15
JournalWind Energy
Volume25
Issue number6
Early online date10 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • marine engineering
  • buckling
  • harmonic response
  • monopile
  • natural frequency
  • offshore wind
  • soil–structure interaction

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