The design of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines still shows significant differences with actual in-situ measurements. The stiffness of the soil cannot be estimated correctly based on current soil calculation models. This project aims to develop calculation models that give results consistent with in-situ measurements and can explain the geotechnical response of the soil.
Jan 2020 - Dec 2022
DBC project

Specifically, 2 general scientific goals have been formulated for this project:

  1. Developing a data-driven soil model and an integrated construction model capable of determining the detected initial resonance frequencies of the entire wind turbine within 2%.
  2. Developing a model update and monitoring strategy to translate in-situ measurements into geotechnical parameters in order to quantify variations in soil and time, and subsequently support O&M decisions and potential service life extensions.

To this end, the consortium will use the many unique in-situ measurements collected by the OWI lab (VUB) over the past years in the framework of various research projects. Lab tests will also be performed within both VUB and Ghent University, as well as in the new Coast and Ocean Basin (COB) in Ostend.

This project fits within the Blue Cluster domain of Renewable Energy and Fresh Water Production with the main objective to (i) maximise the service life of existing monopile foundations and (ii) to optimise the design of monopiles for the new offshore concessions. In Belgium, there is an expected investment of €770 million (capex) in offshore XL monopiles until 2030. The quantified impact of this project is to be expected as a cost saving from engineering, production & installation and will also be important for the service life extension of existing wind turbines. 

The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of this basic research project consists of 8 members from the entire value chain of offshore wind in Belgium: they range from project developers and contractors for marine works to geotechnical consultants and structural monitoring consultants.

Partners: VUB and Ghent University

 With the support of: VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

 Contact: Kristien Veys

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