Foundations for offshore wind turbines

Engineering and soil-structure considerations of monopile foundations

The offshore wind sector is booming worldwide, with a steady trend towards installations in deeper waters and harsher environments. This course addresses one of the main challenges posed by such a trend: the optimisation of foundation systems. 

The course covers geotechnical knowledge relevant to the design of wind turbine foundations, with focus on large-diameter monopiles. Core contents include soil behaviour and characterisation, monopile installation and performance during operations (lateral capacity, stiffness, cyclic response, scour protection). 

Geotechnical concepts and design approaches are linked to the engineering of wind turbine structures, with an open window on the latest Delft R&D developments. The course includes practical sessions and makes room for a stimulating interaction between lecturers and attendees.

Optimise foundation systems: from design to implementation

Course attendees will have a chance to learn about:

  • different foundation types for offshore wind turbines;
  • soil characterisation procedures; 
  • engineering methods for monopile installation and design;
  • monopile-environment interaction, including issues related to seabed scour and cyclic loading conditions;
  • offshore operations for wind farm construction, with emphasis on technical challenges in real-world projects;
  • recent advances in offshore geotechnical research.

Intended for

This course is meant for a wide range of professionals involved in the design, construction and management of offshore wind farms. Participants with a background in engineering – not limited to geotechnical – will make the most of this course in which fundamental understanding and practical application are equally prioritised.

This course is taught entirely in English

Hybrid course: in class, but also online

This course is taught in class in accordance with the current COVID-19 regulations, but can also be followed online. Please indicate how you want to follow the course when registering.

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  • Information
    The program will be taught in English.
  • Program

    Course programme

    Day 1

    General introduction

    • Course introduction
      Welcome by PAOTM and DOB Academy. Safety instructions. Course contents and organisation. 
      dr. F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology
    • Offshore wind industry
      History and present of offshore wind developments.
      dr. ir. J. van der Tempel, DOB-Academy
    • Fundamentals of soil behaviour
      Mechanical behaviour of soils; response to cyclic loading.
      dr. F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology

    Experimental Investigation of Soil Behaviour

    • Testing and characterisation of soils – 1
      In-situ and laboratory testing of soils; determination of relevant soil parameters.
      dr. A. Askarinejad, Delft University of Technology
    • Testing and characterisation of soils – 2
      Hands-on assignment on the interpretation of laboratory test results.
      dr. A. Askarinejad, Delft University of Technology

    Experimental Investigation of Soil Behaviour

    • Structures and foundations for OWTs 
      Offshore Wind Turbines (OWTs), types of support structures and foundations; environmental loading and structural design drivers (capacity, natural frequency, fatigue)
      ir. T. Kamphuis, DOB-Academy
    • Lab session (DOB lab)

    Installation and Design of OWT Monopiles

    • Installation and field testing of OWT foundations
      Installation methods (impact/vibratory driving) and drivability analysis; capacity-based design (failure mechanisms, p-y curves, CPT-based analysis).
      prof. dr. K.G. Gavin, Delft University of Technology
    • Latest advances in monopile design
      Testing and analysis of monopiles under lateral loading; PISA design method for monopiles in sandy and clayey soils.
      prof. dr. K.G. Gavin, Delft University of Technology


    Day 2

    Monopile-Environment Interaction - 1

    • Seabed scour around monopiles
      Seabed dynamics in wind farms; scour around monopiles (observations/prediction); scour protection.
      ir. T. Raaijmakers, Deltares
    • Monopile-soil interaction under cyclic loading
      General features and field observations (impact on OWT dynamics and cyclic tilting); geotechnical analysis of cyclic monopile-soil interaction (p-y/macroelement/3D FE modelling).
      dr. F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology

    Monopile-Environment Interaction - 2

    • Monopile-soil interaction under cyclic loading - 2
      Lessons learned from advanced numerical modelling and open questions.   
      dr. F. Pisanò, Delft University of Technology
    • Lab session (DOB lab)

    Geotechnical Aspects of Wind Farm Construction

    • Installation engineering
      Prediction of pile installation performance; difficult installation scenarios; 
      suction installation of OWT foundations. 
      ir. R. Thijssen, Boskalis
    • Offshore operations
      Use of jack-up vessels; lessons learned from the field.
      ir. R. Thijssen, Boskalis 

    Recent advances

    • Delft offshore wind R&D
      Advanced applications of physical and numerical modelling in recent Delft JIPs.
      dr. A. Askarinejad, Delft University of Technology and dr. ir. A. Elkadi, Deltares

    • Group Discussion (All) 
      Q&A and greetings.
  • Reviews
    This course is assessed with a 7.8
    “Nice course, with good balance of topics and great practical exercises for intuitive feel.”
    Antonios Emmanouil (Deltares)
    “I'm satisfied. I've received many starting points and learned a lot. I enjoyed the lessons and the practical sessions.”
    Participant working for an Italian university
    “Really interesting topic about the soil description and geotechnics. Good to have different profiles of teachers and participants.”
    Timothée Pire (Parkwind)