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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

reliability, monopile foundation, offshore wind turbine

Abstract

A literature review of current design and analysis methods for offshore wind turbine (OWT) foundations is presented, focusing primarily on the monopile foundation. Laterally loaded monopile foundations are typically designed using the American Petroleum Institute (API) p-y method for offshore oil platforms, which presents several issues when extended to OWTs, mostly with respect to the large pile diameters required and the effect of cyclic loading from wind and waves. Although remedies have been proposed, none have been incorporated into current design standards. Foundations must be uniquely designed for each wind farm due to extreme dependence on site characteristics. The uncertainty in soil conditions as well as wind and wave loading is currently treated with a deterministic design procedure, though standards leave the door open for engineers to use a probability-based approach. This thesis uses probabilistic methods to examine the reliability of OWT pile foundations. A static two-dimensional analysis in MATLAB includes the nonlinearity of p-y soil spring stiffness, variation in soil properties, sensitivity to pile design parameters and loading conditions. Results are concluded with a natural frequency analysis.

First Advisor

Sanjay R. Arwade

Second Advisor

Don J. DeGroot

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