Soil-structure interaction framework for offshore foundations in sand under cyclic loading

4 minute read

Offshore renewables

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This research is comprised of two distinct, but related projects. KU Leuven is the home institution for one project and the University of Melbourne will host the second. The collaboration will ensure a successful completion of the research goals.

The details - KU Leuven

Project aims:

  • Develop a novel, rigorous 3D finite element model to predict the response of soil-pile system supporting wind turbines under lateral cyclic loading
  • Conduct advanced laboratory monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests.
  • Integrate findings into an accessible design tool to enable better predictability of monopiles cyclic capacity in engineering practice.

Recent developments in offshore renewable energy sector have resulted in bigger wind turbines and an increase in the mostly commonly used monopile foundation’s diameter to guarantee their performance especially under higher lateral cyclic loads due to waves and wind.

Considering the effects of cyclic loading especially on the long-term foundations’ capacity, it is critical to investigate the monopiles’ ability to control the response across the life span of such energy infrastructure.

Although a range of approaches are available to estimate cyclic soil-structure response, an alternative that considers strain accumulation by means of a thermodynamically consistent, multi- surface plasticity framework to generate more accurate predictions of cyclic long-term displacements, remains unexplored.

The graduate researcher on this project is: Olgu Orakci

Supervision team - KU Leuven

Principal Investigators (PIs)

KU Leuven: Assistant Professor Dr George Anoyatis

The University of Melbourne: Dr Shiao Huey Chow

Co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs)

KU Leuven: Assistant Professor Dr Stijn Francois

The University of Melbourne: Associate Professor Yinghui Tian

The details - The University of Melbourne

Project aims:

  • Investigate the performance of plate anchors subjected to cyclic loading in sand using numerical and physical modelling.
  • Integrate findings into an accessible design tool to enable better predictability of anchors cyclic capacity in engineering practice.

The emergence of offshore floating renewable energy devices requires economic anchoring solutions. Plate anchors could represent such a solution due to their high efficiency in resisting tensile uplift loading.

While the monotonic capacity of plate anchors embedded in sands is relatively well investigated, their performance under more realistic, long term offshore environmental (cyclic) loading is not well understood. In particular, there is limited numerical capability in modelling cyclic response of plate anchors in sand.

The graduate researcher on this project is: Nazish Khattak

Supervision team - The University of Melbourne

Principal Investigators (PIs):

The University of Melbourne: Dr Shiao Huey Chow

KU Leuven: Assistant Professor Dr George Anoyatis

Co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs)

The University of Melbourne: Associate Professor Yinghui Tian

KU Leuven: Assistant Professor Dr Stijn Francois

Other joint PhD projects