Reaching for the Skies

Reaching for the Skies

Construction of the 177m tall wind turbines at Wieringermeer, the largest onshore windpark in The Netherlands, required one of the largest crawler cranes - the Superlift 3800. The pressure from its 1.5m wide tracks was large enough to bend the turbine's ring of 28 foundation piles. A check was needed that the piles had sufficient capacity to resist this loading from the crane.

A 3D FEA model of the turbine foundation, crane platform and soft ground beneath was used to simulate crane-pile interaction, all validated by full-scale testing.


  • 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.