Predicting foundation response for offshore wind turbines Supervised by Britta Bienen, Conleth O’Loughlin
The aim of this research is to predict the installation and in service response of suction buckets supporting offshore wind turbines. This foundation concept is now being adopted in offshore wind farm designs. Following self-weight penetration into the seabed, the bucket is installed by pumping water out of the bucket, which creates a pressure differential across the lid and drives further penetration. In service, the foundation needs to resist the cyclic loading imposed on the turbine from the ocean environment. The mechanisms of suction installation (in layered soils in particular) and the effects of the installation process on the soil state are poorly understood. The evolution of foundation stiffness and displacement underpin the design. The research will be predominantly experimental, utilising recently developed purposedesigned experimental facilities. The project is a collaboration with Lloyd’s Register EMA and Melbourne University.
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