Scour at wind turbine tripod foundation under steady flow

Results of a physical modelling study of clear-water scour at a tripod obstacle in uniform bed sediment under steady flow conditions are presented. Four flow depths, 2 flow velocities and 3 angles of attack were considered. Maximum scour depth increased with increase in flow depth or velocity. For deep flows and high flow rate, the maximum value of the ratio of the equilibrium scour depth to the diameter of the tripod’s leg was 3.5, which is significantly greater than values of 1.3 or 2.5 suggested by guidelines for offshore wind turbine monopiles design. This ratio may be even larger because of the increased shear stress when waves are superimposed on current. All maximum equilibrium scour depths occurred at the upstream surface of a tripod leg despite the centre pile having a larger diameter. The alignment angle had a small effect on scour depth. But it is notable that there is an increase in scour development depth at 60° alignment angle. Equations are suggested for estimating the clear-water scour depth at wind turbine tripod foundations.


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  • Accession Number: 01646837
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 26 2017 5:15PM