Field testing of large diameter piles under lateral loading for offshore wind applications

B. W. Byrne*, R. A. Mcadam, H. J. Burd, G. T. Houlsby, C. M. Martin, K. Gavin, P. Doherty, D. Igoe, L. Zdravkovic, D. M G Taborda, D. M. Potts, R. J. Jardine, M. Sideri, F. C. Schroeder, A. Muir Wood, D. Kallehave, J. Skov Gretlund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Offshore wind power in the UK, and around Europe, has the potential to deliver significant quantities of renewable energy. The foundation is a critical element in the design. The most common foundation design is a single large diameter pile, termed a monopile. Pile diameters of between 5m and 6m are routinely used, with diameters up to 10m or more, being considered for future designs. Questions have been raised as to whether current design methods for lateral loading are relevant to these very large diameter piles. To explore this problem a joint industry project, PISA, co-ordinated by DONG Energy and the Carbon Trust, has been established. The aim of the project is to develop a new design framework for laterally loaded piles based on new theoretical developments, numerical modelling and bench- marked against a suite of large scale field pile tests. The project began in August 2013 and is scheduled to complete during 2015. This paper briefly outlines the project, focusing on the design of the field testing. The testing involves three sizes of pile, from 0.27m in diameter through to 2.0m in diameter. Two sites will be used; a stiff clay site and a dense sand site. Tests will include monotonic loading and cyclic loading. A suite of site investigation will be carried out to aid interpretation of the field tests, and will involve in-situ testing, standard laboratory testing and more advanced laboratory testing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopment
PublisherICE Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780727760678
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201517 Sep 2015
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Abbreviated titleECSMGE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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