25 Nov 2021
25 Nov 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

A model test study on the parameters affecting the cyclic lateral response of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines embedded in non-cohesive soils

Dennis Frick and Martin Achmus Dennis Frick and Martin Achmus
  • Institute for Geotechnical Engineering, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, 30167, Germany

Abstract. During their service life, monopiles supporting offshore wind turbines are subjected to large numbers of lateral cyclic loads resulting from complex environmental conditions such as wind and waves varying in amplitude, direction, load eccentricity and frequency. The consequential accumulation of displacements and rotations of the foundation structure with cyclic loading is one key concern in the design of monopiles. Nevertheless, the relevant offshore guidelines do not provide suitable procedures for predicting such deformations. Although there are several methods for this purpose in literature, some of them produce very different or even contradictory results, which prevents a consistent approach to dimensioning. This paper briefly summarizes the current standardization regarding design of monopiles for cyclic lateral loading and provides some examples of possible prediction models from the literature. To highlight the need for further research, the predictions according to different approaches are compared and evaluated by a calculation example and a parameter study. Further, the results of a small-scale 1 g model test campaign on the load-displacement behaviour of monopile foundations subjected to lateral cyclic loading and the influencing parameters are presented, evaluated and compared with the findings of other research groups. In this way the tests results can help to support or improve model development and provide insight into key issues relevant to monopile design. The parameters that have been assessed include the cyclic load magnitude, cyclic load ratio, load eccentricity, soil relative density, the grain size distribution of the non-cohesive bedding material as well as the pile embedment length.

Dennis Frick and Martin Achmus

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-129', Tomas Sabaliauskas, 03 Jan 2022
    • RC2: 'Reply on RC1', Gudmund Reidar Eiksund, 26 Apr 2022
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Dennis Frick, 27 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Dennis Frick, 27 Apr 2022

Dennis Frick and Martin Achmus

Dennis Frick and Martin Achmus


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Short summary
A brief summary of current regulations and recommendations for the serviceability limit state dimensioning of offshore monopile foundations in sand supporting wind turbines is given. Results from small scale model experiments are presented, discussed and compared to the findings of other research groups to contribute to a better understanding of the complex processes associated with the cyclic load-bearing behavior of piles and to the development of improved calculation approaches.