Behavior of Foundations Supporting Offshore Wind Turbines
Departments: Civil Engineering Advisor: Muhannad Suleiman
The United States is a world leader in land-based wind energy, but offshore wind energy generation has yet to exist. One of the major challenges for offshore wind energy generation is the uncertainty in the long-term behavior and response of support structure (foundations). In relatively shallow water depths, monopole foundation, which is a singular tubular steel pile, is preferred. The nature of loads applied to an offshore wind turbine (wind, waves, and currents) create an interesting long-term cyclic loading combination. After long-term cyclic loading, soils may experience a loss of strength and stiffness. We need to understand the soil-structure interaction of the foundation supporting an offshore wind turbine subject to long-term cyclic loading. Long-term meaning more than 106 cycles. To improve the understanding of the soil-structure interaction, determine the most effective, safe foundation, we are testing a monopole installed in sand. The test is being performed at the Soil-Structure Interaction Testing Facility at ATLSS. Horizontal cyclic loading is applied at 0.2 Hertz to simulate the real offshore conditions. This is a preliminary experiment to collect data on the behavior of the foundation as a function of number of cycles. The results of this test will be utilized to design future tests. Later tests will involve other loads and load combinations to collect further data on the soil-structure interaction of an offshore wind turbine foundation.
About Jordan Greer:
Jordan is a junior at Lehigh University, pursuing a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar, an award that honors women engineers interested in research. Within civil engineering, she is most interested in the environmental track, which involves renewable energy. Last summer Jordan took part in an undergraduate research experience with the Network for Earthquake Engineering simulation. Although she is an avid, hardworking engineer, she appreciates art and design, and has taken ceramics for her entire life. She believes that problems, even math problems, can be solved looking through a creative and innovative lens. Apart from her studies, she is a member of Club Lacrosse, the Club Ski Team, ASCE, Alpha Gamma Delta and Tau Beta Pi.