Structures and Integrity

De-risking critical aspects for concept selection and enable cost-effective design and fabrication of support structures through reduced uncertainty and application of novel methods.

Work Package 1 is lead by Vigdis Olden from SINTEF Industry and Ana Page from NGI. Its focus areas are environmental loads, limetime and performance, design and fabrication.

Anticipated results:

  • Improved methods for prediction of interactions between environmental loads, soil and structure.
  • Decision support platform for lifetime prediction
  • Cost-effective serial production of substructures

Hypothesis

Fundamental understanding and accurate models of load, response, and degradation will be a key enabler for design, digitalised operation and lifetime prediction of support structures.

Methodology and research tasks

Environmental loads and response modelling

Hydrodynamic load models, site investigation methodologies and soil structure interaction and integrity.

Integrated design assessment and optimization

Multi-scale aero-hydro-servo-elastic modelling and reliability-based structural design optimisation.

Lifetime, performance, and integrity

Precision in degradation models. This is linked to Work Package 4.

Fabrication

Cost-effective mass production by automation and optimised and light-weight design and materials for secondary structures. Linked to Work Package 2 and 3.

Ambition for innovations

Improved models

Improved models for reliable predictions and better
understanding of interactions between environmental loads, soil, and structure. Accurate knowledge of site conditions and extreme environmental loads is insufficiently applied in early-phase design.

Decision support platform

Decision support platform for life prediction based on advanced model and condition monitoring. Limited understanding and modelling capabilities for material damage during operation.

Cost-effective production

Cost-effective serial production of offshore sub-structures, including a high degree of automation. Manual welding and coating are bottlenecks and cost drivers in fabrication.

Main results from 2021

Establishing a sand database

  • The foundation concept selection for wind turbines often relies on limited information on the soil conditions and some generic correlations. Having access to data and better correlations can facilitate the development of offshore wind projects and de-risk foundation concepts that are sensitive to soil conditions.

Laser welding of thick-walled steel plates

  • For the accelerated deployment of large-scale offshore wind, we need cost-effective, sustainable, and mass-produced substructures. The ability to efficiently perform welding of thick steel plates resulting in a good quality weld with respect to full penetration and material properties is central. A full-penetration, defect-free weld has been achieved.

Identification and description of user cases

In close cooperation with the industry partners, three industrial user cases have been identified.
Figure illustrating the concept of hybrid laser-arc welding
Hybrid laser-arc welding

Innovations