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Centrifuge physical modelling of wind turbine foundations

Grant number: 15/10223-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 14, 2015
Effective date (End): September 13, 2016
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering
Principal researcher:Marcos Massao Futai
Grantee:Marcos Massao Futai
Host: Stuart Kenneth Haigh
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Cambridge, England  


Today Brazilian electricity production depends on hydropower plants. When there is drought, thermal power plants are activated, which are not only costly but also contribute to air pollution. It is necessary to diversify energy sources and, for this reason, the use of wind energy is fundamental for the Brazilian energy matrix. The use of wind energy with modern wind turbines is recent in Brazil. Little is known about the long-term performance. Due to their height, which could exceed 100m, their own weight is not the most important load. The load caused by the wind should be considered. The foundations will undergo a vertical and another horizontal load plus the bending moment, and the load is cyclic. There is little information about the cyclic load effects on foundations in Brazilian soils and this is why cyclic loads are not normally considered in designs. International studies have shown that cyclic loads on sand cause degradation of side friction and reduce rigidity of piles on sands. This loss of strength and increase in deformability may create accumulation of irreversible strains that could cause long-term failure. The study to be done at the University of Cambridge addresses use of physical centrifuge models applied to wind turbine foundations. The centrifuges enable testing of models increased N times the gravity. Therefore, models on a scale 1:100 can be tested in real dimensions when accelerated 100 times the Earth's gravity. The purpose of the project will be to perform tests that consider the soil-foundation-tower interaction on combined cyclic loads. At the end of the study, the idea is to give an academic contribution from the innovative test results and provide subsidies to improve the engineering practice of foundations for wind turbines. In short, empiricism very often occurs in the practice in the area in question. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FUTAI, MARCOS MASSAO; DONG, JING; HAIGH, STUART K.; MADABHUSH, S. P. GOPAL. Dynamic response of monopiles in sand using centrifuge modelling. SOIL DYNAMICS AND EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, v. 115, p. 90-103, DEC 2018. Web of Science Citations: 2.

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