My research project
Numerical modelling of different offshore wind turbine foundations
Moment resisting capacity of different offshore wind turbines under different soil/ground conditions and introduction to new type of wind turbine foundation and finding the suitability and long term effects.
Large scale offshore wind farms are relatively new infrastructures and are being deployed in regions prone to earthquakes. Offshore wind farms comprise of both offshore wind turbines (OWTs) and balance of plants (BOP) facilities, such as inter-array and export cables, grid connection etc. An OWT structure can be either grounded systems (rigidly anchored to the seabed) or floating systems (with tension legs or catenary cables). OWTs are dynamically-sensitive structures made of a long slender tower with a top-heavy mass, known as Nacelle, to which a heavy rotating mass (hub and blades) is attached. These structures, apart from the variable environmental wind and wave loads, may also be subjected to earthquake related hazards in seismic zones. The earthquake hazards that can affect offshore wind farm are fault displacement, seismic shaking, subsurface liquefaction, submarine landslides, tsunami effects and a combination thereof. Procedures for seismic designing OWTs are not explicitly mentioned in current codes of practice. The aim of the paper is to discuss the seismic related challenges in the analysis and design of offshore wind farms and wind turbine structures. Different types of grounded and floating systems are considered to evaluate the seismic related effects. However, emphasis is provided on Tension Leg Platform (TLP) type floating wind turbine. Future research needs are also identified.
Offshore Wind Turbines are a complex, dynamically sensitive structure owing to their irregular mass and stiffness distribution and complexity of the loading conditions they need to withstand. There are other challenges in particular locations such as typhoon, hurricane, earthquake, sea-bed current, tsunami etc. As offshore wind turbines have stringent Serviceability Limit State (SLS) requirements and need to be installed in variable, and often complex ground conditions, their foundation design is challenging. Foundation design must be robust due to the enormous cost of retrofitting in a challenging environment should any problem occurs during the design lifetime. Traditionally, engineers use conventional types of foundation system such shallow Gravity-Based Foundations (GBF), suction caissons or slender pile or monopile owing to prior experience with designing such foundations for the oil and gas industry. For offshore wind turbine, however, new types of foundations are being considered for which neither prior experience nor guidelines exist. One of the major challenges is to develop a method to de-risk the life cycle of offshore wind turbines in diverse met-ocean and geological conditions. The paper, therefore, has the following aims: (a) Provide an overview of the complexities and the common SLS performance requirements for offshore wind turbine; (b) Discuss the use of physical modelling for verification and validation of innovative design concepts, taking into account all possible angles to de-risk the project. (c) Provide examples on applications of scaled model tests.