Published: 08 June 2018 08 June 2018
Scour researchers from Ghent University, Leibniz University Hannover and the University of Porto, alongside IMDC nv and the Department of Mobility and Public Works (Belgium), are about to start work on a collaborative project at HR Wallingford’s Fast Flow Facility (FFF) as part of PROTEUS, an EU-funded Hydralab+ project.
The research project aims to improve the design of scour protection around offshore wind turbine monopiles, as well as future-proofing them against the impacts of climate change. PROTEUS, which stands for the ‘PRotection of Offshore wind Turbine monopilEs against Scouring’ will facilitate the conducting of a series of large scale experiments over a seven week period in the FFF flume at HR Wallingford’s UK physical modelling facilities.
The Fast Flow Facility is 75 metre long x 8 metre wide and contains a 1 metre deep sediment pit. The flume has been specially equipped for scour studies, and has been designed to be able to generate a unique combination of waves and strong currents.
Foundation costs represent 20% of the total costs in the case of a monopile, of which a significant proportion is related to the foundation’s scour protection. This makes it vital to improve and reduce the cost of monopile scour protection design. Lifetime extension is another promising route to reducing the costs of offshore wind turbines, so examining the foundation and behaviour of the scour protection around the monopile is another element of this research project.