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Physical modelling to demonstrate the feasibility of screw piles for offshore jacket supported wind energy structures.

Davidson, C. and Brown, M.J. and Cerfontaine, B. and Knappett, J.A. and Brennan, A.J. and Al-Baghdadi, T. and Augarde, C.E. and Coombs, W.M. and Wang, L. and Blake, A. and Richards, D. and Ball, J.D. (2022) 'Physical modelling to demonstrate the feasibility of screw piles for offshore jacket supported wind energy structures.', Geotechnique., 72 (2). pp. 108-126.


Screw piles potentially offer quieter installation and enhanced axial tensile capacity over straight-shafted driven piles. As such, they have been suggested as a possible foundation solution for offshore jacket supported wind turbines in deeper water. To investigate the feasibility of their use in this setting, centrifuge testing of six model screw piles of different designs was conducted to measure the installation requirements and ultimate axial capacity of the piles in very-dense and medium-dense sand. The screw piles were designed to sustain loads generated by an extreme design scenario using published axial capacity and torque prediction formulae. Single and double-helix designs, including an optimised design, intended to minimise installation requirements, with reduced geometry were installed and tested in-flight. Piles in the medium-dense sand for example had significant installation requirements of up to 18.4MNm (torque) and 28.8MN (vertical force) which were accurately predicted using correlations with cone resistance data (CPT). Existing axial capacity design methods did not perform well for these large-scale screw piles, overestimating compressive and tensile capacities. Revised analytical methods for installation and axial capacity estimates are proposed here based on the centrifuge test results.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:15 September 2020
Date deposited:23 September 2020
Date of first online publication:23 September 2020
Date first made open access:23 September 2021

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