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Large-scale offshore wind farms have emerged as a critical renewable energy technology to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and autonomy in energy production. Each of these wind farms consists of many wind turbine generators (WTG) mounted on a support structure and is capable of generating up to (as we write the paper) 1.2 GW of power. These are relatively new technological advancements which are installed in harsh offshore environments. Naturally, the design of foundations for such structures is challenging. Furthermore, WTG support structures due to its shape and form (heavy rotating mass at the top of a slender tower) are dynamically sensitive in the sense that the natural frequency of such system is very close to the forcing frequencies acting on them. The aims of this keynote lecture are as follows: (a) summarise the loads acting on the structure together with its associated complexity; (b) discuss the challenges in designing such foundations; (c) describe the rationale behind scaled models tests that supported the development of offshore wind turbine design philosophy; (d) draw parallel with other geotechnical scaled model tests and discuss the scaling issues; (e) propose a method to scale the model tests for predicting prototype consequences. While there is no track record of long-term performances of these new structures, design and construction of these must be carried out for 25–30 years and it is argued that scaled model tests are necessary. Finally, the lecture concludes that well thought out scaled models tests can be effective in predicting the long-term issues and engineers need to learn from other disciplines.
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Arany, L., Bhattacharya, S., Adhikari, S., Hogan, S. J., & Macdonald, JHG. (2015a): An analytical model to predict the natural frequency of offshore wind turbines on three-spring flexible foundations using two different beam models. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering; 74:40–5. https://doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.soildyn.2015.03.007.
Arany, L., Bhattacharya, S., Macdonald, J., & Hogan, S. J. (2015b). Simplified critical mudline bending moment spectra of offshore wind turbine support structures. Wind Energy, 18, 2171–2197.
Arany, L., Bhattacharya, S., Macdonald, J. H. G., & Hogan, S. J. (2016). Closed form solution of Eigen frequency of monopile supported offshore wind turbines in deeper waters incorporating stiffness of substructure and SSI. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 83, 18–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soildyn.2015.12.011. CrossRef
Arany, L., Bhattacharya, S., Macdonald, J., & Hogan, S. J. (2017). Design of monopiles for offshore wind turbines in 10 steps. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 92, 126–152. CrossRef
Bhattacharya, S. (2014). Challenges in the design of offshore wind turbine foundations. IET: Engineering and Technology Reference.
Bhattacharya, S. (2017). Chapter 12: Civil engineering aspects of a wind farm and wind turbine structures. Wind Energy Engineering: A Handbook for Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbines Hardcover. Elsevier. ISBN:9780128094518.
Bhattacharya, S., Cox, J., Lombardi, D., & Muir Wood, D. (2013a). Dynamics of offshore wind turbines supported on two foundations. Geotechnical engineering: Proceedings of the ICE, 166(2), 159–169.
Bhattacharya, S., Lombardi, D., & Wood, D. M. (2011). Similitude relationships for physical modelling of monopile-supported offshore wind turbines. International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 11(2), 58–68. CrossRef
Bhattacharya, S., Nikitas, N., Garnsey, J., Alexander, N. A., Cox, J., Lombardi, D., et al. (2013b). Observed dynamic soil–structure interaction in scale testing of offshore wind turbine foundations. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 54, 47–60. CrossRef
Bhattacharya, S., Wang, L., Liu, J., & Hong, Y. (2017). Civil engineering challenges associated with design of offshore wind turbines with special reference to China. Chapter 13 of Wind Energy Engineering A Handbook for Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbines Academic Press (Elsevier), pp. 243–273.
Guo, Z., Yu, L., Wang, L., Bhattacharya, S., Nikitas, G., & Xing, Y. (2015). Model tests on the long-term dynamic performance of offshore wind turbines founded on monopiles in sand. ASME Journal of Offshore Mechchanics and Arctic Engineering, 137(4). https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4030682.
Lombardi, D., Bhattacharya, S., & Muir, Wood D. (2013). Dynamic soil-structure interaction of monopile supported wind turbines in cohesive soil. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 49, 165–180. CrossRef
Nikitas, G., Arany, L., Aingaran, S., Vimalan, J., & Bhattacharya, S. (2017). Predicting long term performance of offshore wind turbines using cyclic simple shear apparatus. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 92, 678–683. CrossRef
Nikitas, G., Vimalan, N. J., Bhattacharya, S. (2016). An innovative cyclic loading device to study long term performance of offshore wind turbines. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 82, 154–160.
Yu, L., Wang, L., Guo, Z., Bhattacharya, S., Nikitas, G., Li, L., et al. (2015). Long-term dynamic behavior of monopile supported offshore wind turbines in sand. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters, 5(2), 80–84. CrossRef
- On the Use of Scaled Model Tests for Analysis and Design of Offshore Wind Turbines
- Springer Singapore