Dynamic ice loads for offshore wind support structure design

Tim C. Hammer*, Tom Willems, Hayo Hendrikse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


For offshore wind farms which are planned in sub-arctic regions like the Baltic Sea and Bohai Bay, support structure design has to account for load effects from dynamic ice-structure interaction. There is relatively high uncertainty related to dynamic ice loads as little to no load- and response data of offshore wind turbines exposed to drifting ice exists. In the present study the potential for the development of ice-induced vibrations for an offshore wind turbine on monopile foundation is experimentally investigated. The experiments aimed to reproduce at scale the interaction of an idling and operational 14 MW turbine with ice representative of 50-year return period Southern Baltic Sea conditions. A real-time hybrid test setup was used to allow the incorporation of the specific modal properties of an offshore wind turbine at the ice action point, as well as virtual wind loading. The experiments showed that all known regimes of ice-induced vibrations develop depending on the magnitude of the ice drift speed. At low speed this is intermittent crushing and at intermediate speeds is ‘frequency lock-in’ in the second global bending mode of the turbine. For high ice speeds continuous brittle crushing was found. A new finding is the development of an interaction regime with a strongly amplified non-harmonic first-mode response of the structure, combined with higher modes after moments of global ice failure. The regime develops between speeds where intermittent crushing and frequency lock-in in the second global bending mode develop. The development of this regime can be related to the specific modal properties of the wind turbine, for which the second and third global bending mode can be easily excited at the ice action point. Preliminary numerical simulations with a phenomenological ice model coupled to a full wind turbine model show that intermittent crushing and the new regime result in the largest bending moments for a large part of the support structure. Frequency lock-in and continuous brittle crushing result in significantly smaller bending moments throughout the structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103335
Number of pages19
JournalMarine Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Frequency lock-in
  • Ice-induced vibrations
  • Ice-structure interaction
  • Intermittent crushing
  • Monopile
  • Multi-modal interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic ice loads for offshore wind support structure design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this