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Experiments by Invited Researchers

 

Large scale experiments to improve monopile scour protection design adapted to climate change

Project acronym: H+-HRW-01-Troch
Name of Group Leader: Peter Troch
User-Project Title: Large scale experiments to improve monopile scour protection design adapted to climate change
Facility: The Fast Flow Facility
Data Storage Report: DSR_PROTEUS.pdf
Publications: energies-12-01709.pdf
Hydralab+_Joint_User_Meeting_Proteus.pdf
Address to obtain the data: d.todd@hrwallingford.com
peter.troch@ugent.be
Associated DOI data sets: 10.5281/zenodo.3387078: Large scale experiments to improve monopile scour protection design adapted to climate change
Data Storage Report DOI

Offshore wind farms contribute significantly to renewable energy production. By installing offshore wind turbines, new technical design challenges arise, such as how to ensure that the wind turbine stays in place. This requires optimisation of the design of the foundations. The cost of energy generated by offshore wind turbines amounts up to 170 Euro/MWh (Crown Estate, 2015), but the ambition is to reduce this by 2020 to 90 Euro/MWh (Ey, 2015). The foundations of the offshore wind turbine, which secure them to the seabed, make up around 20% of the total costs in the case of a monopile (NREL, 2014). An important part of those cost is related to the scour protection around the foundation, which stops the seabed from eroding around the turbine. Therefore, optimisation of the design of the scour protection has the potential to reduce the overall cost of the turbine.
Another promising track to reduce the costs of offshore wind turbines is to extend the lifetime of the turbines. Recent studies (Crown Estate, 2015) show that a 5 year lifetime extension can reduce the cost per MWh by 6%. To check the feasibility of a lifetime extension, it will be necessary to diagnose or inspect the conditions of several core parts of the turbines, notably its foundation and scour protection. Therefore, more fundamental insight into the long-term behaviour of the scour protection around the monopile is needed.
Beside the interest in design optimisation and lifetime extension, the influence of climate change needs to be investigated in more detail. Climate change will increase the design storm conditions and influence the scour protection stability. Therefore, research towards a risk-based design will help to evaluate the functionality of scour protection already installed and improve the design of future.

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