Helical Piles for Offshore Wind Turbines

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1 DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING SCIENCE Helical Piles for Offshore Wind Turbines Byron Byrne and Guy Houlsby Contact: September 3, 2010

2 UK Wind Overview 264 operational farms generating 4.6GW 252 onshore (3.6 GW) and 12 offshore (1 GW) 42 under construction for 2.7 GW 37 onshore (1.3 GW) and 5 offshore (1.4 GW) 189 with consent for 6.2 GW 182 onshore (3.6 GW) and 7 offshore (2.6 GW) 270 in planning for 9.7 GW 265 onshore (7.4 GW) and 5 offshore (2.3 GW) Total = 765 projects for 23.2 GW 4% of projects are offshore contributing 31% of electricity Figures are rated maximum power and not average delivered power Total UK installed generating capacity is approximately 90GW Source: RenewableUK (bwea.com) Wind Turbines Page 2

3 Offshore Wind Challenges RenewableUK indicates plans for about 42GW of wind power to be installed, though no time scale indicated Government suggested 33GW by 2020 (6600 5MW turbines) Over 600 turbines per year for 10 years Replacement rate in the region of 300 turbines per year indefinitely! Around 350 turbines installed since 2000 Total investment in region of 80bn to 100bn Foundation design and installation key component Wind Turbines Page 3

4 Water depth Average wind speed Wind Turbines Page 4 Source: DTI Renewable Energy Atlas

5 Round 1 Sites (2001) Blyth 11 sites 336 turbines 1041MW Scroby Sands (August 2010) Kentish Flats Source: RenewableUK (bwea.com)

6 Round 2 Sites (2003) Location Maximum capacity (MW) Docking Shoal 500 Race Bank 500 Sheringham 315 Humber 300 Triton Knoll 1,200 Lincs 250 Westermost Rough 240 Dudgeon East 300 Greater Gabbard 500 Gunfleet Sands II 64 London Array 1,000 Thanet 300 Walney 450 Gwynt y Mor 750 West Duddon 500 TOTAL 7169 Source: RenewableUK (bwea.com) Wind Turbines Page 6

7 Third Round Sites (2010) Figure from Crown Estates Wind Turbines Page 7

8 Blades: high strength composites Generator Aerodynamics of blades Gearbox Control of blade pitch Dynamics of tower Forces from waves and current Electrical connections to shore Foundation design Wind Turbines Page 8

9 Cost Makeup 4% Development and consent 33% Turbine 15% Electrical 22% Support structure 26% Production, integration and installation Source: Carbon Trust Foundations and installation part of the last two categories Opportunity to reduce costs by using alternative foundation concepts and installation processes Current costs are of the order of 3m per MW installed Wind Turbines Page 9

10 Geotechnical Issues A full range of geotechnical conditions can be found at the various sites - mobile sand banks, dense sand, stiff clays, layered materials, soft clays, rocky strata, boulder clay Can be considerable variability over a site (turbines are typically spaced more than 500m apart) A site investigation is important early in the design process and may involve CPTs, Boreholes, vane tests, geophysical surveys There may also be element testing using samples obtained from the site Wind Turbines Page 10

11 1MN 96m 6MN 95m 3MN? Wind Turbines Page 11

12 Loads on an Offshore Turbine Foundation H H V V V M H (a) V 1 H 1 (b) V 2 H 2 Wind Turbines Page 12

13 Onshore designs Mainly large reinforced-concrete pad foundations (cast in situ) Occasional use of concrete caissons Pile group solutions are also possible Tow Law: 36 piles 340mm diameter up to 21m long 16.6m diameter pitch circle Image/Notes from Wind Turbines Page 13

14 Options for Foundations (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) L D L s D Wind Turbines Page 14

15 Size and Location of Developments 40 Water depth (m) Multiple footings? Monopods Most future developments? 10 Most past developments Turbine power (MW) Wind Turbines Page 15

16 Monopile Foundations Average 89 hours per pile at North Hoyle Image/Notes from Wind Turbines Page 16

17 Multiple Piles: Beatrice Structures Image from Wind Turbines Page 17

18 Helical Screw Pile Options (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Wind Turbines Page 18

19 Helical Screw Piles (f) H (g) V M Tension capacity almost as high as compression Use for a wide range of soil conditions Torque motors smaller than pile drivers Over water or under water possibilities Quick and quiet installation process compared to pile driving Reusable - piles can be unscrewed Pile design can be verified during the SI phase Correlations developed between CPT and pile design Further soil data gathered during pile installation Torque data verifies capacity Wind Turbines Page 19

20 Design Considerations Structural connection between screw pile and structure needs to be considered carefully Requirements for lateral and moment stiffness might lead to hybrid screw pile / skirted foundation design could mitigate problems from scour Installation could involve pre-installing the foundation on a template or installing whole structure at one time Cyclic loading response is important as this is a critical design issue Stiffness is important for fatigue calculations Wind Turbines Page 20

21 Possible Installation Procedure (1) Wind Turbines Page 21

22 Possible Installation Procedure (2) hydraulics torque-motor Wind Turbines Page 22

23 Onshore Screwpile Design (Screwfast) Small turbine (50 kw) V = 50 kn, H = 60 kn, M = 1.4 MNm Grillage system with 9 screw piles (vertical and raked) Screwpiles 7m long with two flights approximately 0.5m diameter Piles installed, grillage attached and then tower attached Image/Notes from Screwfast Very quick process because no concrete involved. Wind Turbines Page 23

24 Alternative onshore design (Screwfast) Images from Charles Wark, Screwfast Wind Turbines Page 24

25 Scale of Design for Offshore Assume 3 MW wind turbine in 19m water depth on a tetrapod structure (30m by 30m base) 96 m rotor diameter, hub 85 m above seabed 12.5 m wave, 13.1 s period and 1.2 m/s current Base shear 6.5MN, OTM 160 MNm, Weight 6 MN Worst loads at the foundation level V = 6 MN, H = 3.5 MN, M = 4.7 MNm V = -3.2 MN, H = 2.7 MN, M = 5.4 MNm Potential screw pile design (one at each corner) Plate diameter = 1.5 m Plate spacing = 2 m Up to 1.5 MNm torque required for installation Wind Turbines Page 25

26 Conclusions Offshore wind will expand rapidly over the next decade Screwpiles would be a good solution to this problem This could involve screwpiles at an unprecedented scale contact: Wind Turbines Page 26

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