Design optimisation of jacket structures for mass production

The world demands growing amounts of energy, and at the same time we must reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Large offshore wind farms have the potential of delivering the energy that is needed, and it can also be built near consumption hot spots. The advantages of offshore wind are many, but there are also challenges – the most obvious being high cost of energy. Current trends show that offshore wind energy is actually increasing in cost, and this is because new wind farms are being built farther from shore and in deeper waters.

Project description:

Offshore wind turbines are mounted on costly bottom-fixed support structures such as monopiles and jackets. Design optimization of offshore wind turbine support structures is a complex engineering task. The newly funded Danish strategic research project - ABYSS - at DTU Wind Energy develops novel mathematical models, reliable numerical optimization techniques and software for optimal structural design of cost effective bottom-fixed offshore wind turbine support structures for all relevant water depths including deep waters in excess of 50m. The particular responsibility of my PhD project is to include mass manufacturing considerations in the optimization process.

Perspective:

Using in-house FE-software with design sensitivities, a comprehensive cost function and advanced constraints, the aim is to deliver tools that can significantly enhance the planning of a wind farm. Whereas the current offshore wind farms that have been built on jackets have used individually designed jackets, it is our belief that significant savings can be made by handling the design process in a way that allows repeated design, hereby introducing modules, and batch production.