Decoupled Modelling Approaches for Environmental Interactions with Monopile-Based Offshore Wind Support Structures

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To meet the political goals regarding renewable energy production, offshore wind keeps expanding to waters with larger depths and harsher conditions, while the turbine size continues to grow and ever-larger foundation structures are required. This development can only be successful if further cuts in the levelized cost of energy are established. Regarding the design of the foundation structures, a particular challenge in this respect relates to the reduction of the total computational time required for the design. For both practical and commercial reasons, the decoupled modelling of offshore wind support structures finds a common application, especially during the preliminary design stage. This modelling approach aims at capturing the relevant characteristics of the different environment-structure interactions, while reducing the complexity as much as possible. This paper presents a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art modelling approaches of environmental interactions with offshore wind support structures. In this respect, the primary focus is on the monopile foundation, as this concept is expected to remain the prominent solution in the years to come. Current challenges in the field are identified, considering as well the engineering practice and the insights obtained from code comparison studies and experimental validations. It is concluded that the decoupled analysis provides valuable modelling perspectives, in particular for the preliminary design stage. In the further development of the different modelling strategies, however, the trade-off with computational costs should always be kept in mind.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5195
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aerodynamic damping
  • Design procedure
  • Hydrodynamic loading
  • Monopile support structures
  • Soil-structure interaction


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