Centrifuge modeling of hybrid foundations for offshore wind turbines

Cherchia, Meryl
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Abdoun, Tarek
Bennett, Victoria Gene
Dobry, R. (Ricardo), 1922-
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Civil engineering
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Offshore wind farms are becoming common solutions for harnessing wind energy. The expenses for foundation installation are significant, often accounting for one third of the total erection costs. It is apparent that improvements upon foundation designs for offshore wind turbines are needed to make cost-effective options available. The most common foundation for medium depth waters is the monopile. The monopile is typically chosen to safely support the large overturning moments under comparatively low vertical loading. This research evaluates hybrid foundation systems by means of centrifuge testing. The hybrid designs include a shorter, central pile with variations of peripheral skirted foundations intended to increase the lateral and rotational stiffness of the system. Utilizing the RPI CEES Centrifuge Facility, a series of centrifuge experiments were performed on a traditional monopile, as well as two hybrid designs. The foundations were subjected to in-flight monotonic and cyclic loads. Advanced sensors were implemented to capture the soil-structure interaction under the applied conditions. The experimental data is assessed and compared to determine the efficiency and viability of the design alternatives.
August 2016
School of Engineering
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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