At the University of Birmingham our research leads to new inventions and fuels innovation and business growth.
The size of offshore structures such as wind turbines is limited by the rotational and lateral stability of the foundation the structure is mounted on.
Foundations for offshore wind turbines and other structures are subjected to various loadings; vertical, horizontal and rotational moment loads or combinations of all of these. In particular they experience large overturning moments due to the significant horizontal wind pressures acting high above the foundation level. These overturning moments offer the biggest challenge for designers. The foundations for offshore wind turbine projects can account for up to 40% of the project cost and determine the financial viability of a project.
This novel design produced by University of Birmingham, is for a suction caisson with T-wings that extend from the central caisson “inverted bucket” body to provide additional surface area which can react with the seabed to help resist rotation and lateral forces which act on the caisson.
Suction caissons are a relatively new design concept used for offshore structures offering considerable reductions in the cost of foundations for structures such as wind turbines. The suction caisson structure is made of steel in the shape of an inverted ‘bucket’ and is installed into the seabed by creating pressure difference within the caisson cavity, thereby drawing the caisson into the seabed to provide relatively quick placement and removal.