Effects of Soil Profile Variation and Scour on Structural Response of an Offshore Monopile Wind Turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
Hui Li

College of Shipbuilding Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China

Muk Chen Ong

Department of Mechanical and Structural Engineering and Materials Science, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

Bernt J. Leira

Department of Marine Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Dag Myrhaug

Department of Marine Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039297 History: Received August 23, 2016; Revised February 07, 2018


This paper presents an engineering approach to study the effects of soil profile variation and scour on structural response of an offshore monopile wind turbine. A wind-wave model for finite water depth is proposed to obtain the corresponding sea-state based on the incident wind. Different wind, wave and current loads on the wind turbine for the operational conditions are considered. The interaction between the foundation and the soil is simulated by nonlinear springs, for which stiffness properties are obtained from the axial load transfer curve, the tip load-displacement curve and the lateral load-deflection curve. Four types of soil conditions are considered, i.e., 100% sand layer, 50% sand layer (top) and 50% clay layer (bottom), 50% clay layer (top) and 50% sand layer (bottom), as well as 100% clay layer. For a given current speed, the variations of the structural response of the wind turbine due to the effects of different wind-wave load combinations, soil conditions and scour have been investigated. Different wind-wave load combinations directly affect the mean internal bending moment and mean displacement vertically along the support structure. Different soil conditions change the eigen-frequency of the structure significantly. The top layer of the soil appears to have a strong influence on the mean internal bending moment and the mean shear force distribution along the foundation. Moreover, the effect of scour alters the eigen-frequency of the structure significantly. The maximum mean bending moment and displacement increase for the cases with scour hole as compared to the cases with scour protection.

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