Monopile mounted offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are expected to experience a very large number of cyclic loads throughout their operational lifetime, and the existing p-y method of foundation modelling does not fully account for the effects of dynamic cyclic loading, such as pile-soil gapping. In this paper a dynamic model based on the beam-on-nonlinear-Winkler-foundation scheme with a novel algorithm capable of capturing the effects of pile-soil gapping is presented. It can account for gap cave in, and the resulting gap size can react dynamically to changing loading amplitudes, using only two calibration parameters. Static and dynamic cyclic loaded model validations are presented, and give very good agreement to experimental results, performing better than existing p-y curves for dynamic loading. The model is also applied to an OWT case study and predictions of natural frequency reduction due to soil erosion agree well with measured results. It is shown that the inclusion of gapping may result in a significant decrease to the natural frequency prediction of OWTs relative to the value predicted without gapping. As such, not considering gapping could lead to unconservative predictions, and any additional soil degradation throughout the serviceable lifetime could therefore result in unwanted resonance. The method provided in this paper provides a simple and accurate model to predict this behaviour which is crucial to ascertain during the design phase
Original languageEnglish
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2022


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