DHI Group’s research into long-term scour predictions has borne fruit in the form of a specialty tool – WiTuS. With WiTuS, it is now possible to model long-term predictions on scouring around monopile type foundations – structures which form the bases of majority of the current and planned offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farm establishment is an expensive affair. To add to it, there has been no system in place to predict scouring effects on monopiles over long time spans. Lack of predictability has been forcing investors to spend more on hefty protection measures, to shield monopiles against scouring. This significantly adds on to already heavy investment costs.
By becoming capable of predicting the exact scour/erosion depth, the estimations of loads and the fatigue life of the wind turbine can be improved. Armed with such predictive information, you can opt for simpler and cheaper designs for your wind turbine, without compromising on safety. Accordingly, you can plan the accurate measure of scour protection for your wind turbine foundation and save on investment costs in the process. With WiTuS, you can slash investments in your offshore wind farm by as much as €150,000/turbine – nearly 10% of the total project cost.
Moreover, even though the tool is customised to forecast scour around monopiles, it can be applied to any offshore pile structure, where scour is an issue.
Press Release, July 31, 2012