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Case Studies

Wieringermeer, NL

Wieringermeer, NL

The construction of the colossal 177-metre-tall wind turbines at Wieringermeer, constituting the largest onshore wind park in The Netherlands, posed a unique engineering challenge necessitating the deployment of one of the largest crawler cranes, the Superlift 3800. However, the substantial pressure exerted by the crane’s 1.5-metre-wide tracks raised concerns about the potential bending of the turbine’s ring composed of 28 foundation piles. In light of this, a crucial assessment was imperative to ensure that the piles possessed sufficient capacity to withstand the loading induced by the crane.

To conduct this assessment, a sophisticated 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model was crafted, encompassing the turbine foundation, crane platform, and the soft ground beneath. This model facilitated the simulation of crane-pile interaction, providing critical insights into the structural response to the crane’s loading. The accuracy of the FEA model was validated through full-scale testing, ensuring that the predictions aligned with real-world conditions. This comprehensive approach not only safeguarded the structural integrity of the wind turbines but also exemplified the importance of advanced modelling and testing in addressing complex engineering challenges associated with large-scale infrastructure projects.

Highlights

  • 3D FEA model of wind turbine foundation piles, crane platform and soft interbedded soils. 

  • Crane platform supported on Tensar Stratum system and mechanically stabilised layers. 

  • Simulation of crane loading and prediction of resulting forces in piled foundation. 

  • Validation by full-scale testing. 

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