Conference programme

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Delegates are invited to meet and discuss with the poster presenters during the poster presentation sessions between 10:30-11:30 and 16:00-17:00 on Thursday, 19 November 2015.

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Søren Andreas Nielsen Universal Foundation A/S, Denmark
Søren Andreas Nielsen (1) F Lars Bo Ibsen (1)
(1) Universal Foundation A/S, Aalborg Øst, Denmark (2) Aalborg, Aalborg, Afghanistan

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

M.Sc. from The Danish Technical University Mechanical Engineering/Project Management. Various management
positions in companies dealing with energy solutions, building power plants and district heating systems. Business /
concept development within renewable energy. Last 12 years responsible for the development of the Bucket Foundation
concept and co-founder of Universal Foundation.


Poster Download poster (8.42 MB)


Cost-Effective mass production of Mono Bucket Foundations


Today, the basis for design and manufacturing of offshore foundations is inherited from oil and gas industry where the small repeatability in manufacturing is the case and the cost implications are different. The total opposite is the case when considering offshore WTG foundation where mass production is needed. The project has duration of 3 years and is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark and has the following partners: DTU Wind Energy, FORCE Technology, LIC Engineering, AAU Civil and M-tech. The € 4 mill. project involves more than 25 researchers, Ph.d's and developers


In order to design a cost-optimal foundation for offshore wind parks it is necessary to consider all the involved phases: design, production, fabrication and installation in an integrated and iterative analysis process. I.e. the developed design shall as a minimum have a low weight and be produced and fabricated by automatic processes wherever possible. The foundation has to be easy to install with few offshore operations – No seabed preparation and no or reduced need of scour protection. At the same time the foundation shall have discrete parametric properties so that it is easy to alter a ‘basic’ foundation design for different environmental conditions, water depth, soil properties and for different wind turbines. No recognised procedures exist for the Mono Bucket Foundation design, which is an obstruction for mass customization/production and industrialization in relation to certifying authority. More cost effective foundation design can be established using on-going research results.

Main body of abstract

A key element for the structural optimization is a life-time overview of the structural stress at critical positions. These can nowadays be determined by extensive load-case simulations with established aero-elastic codes. However, substantial speed-up of the optimization can be achieved with simplified descriptions of the wind-wave climate and highly efficient time/frequency domain methods for stress calculation which still captures the main load structure interaction. Turbine loads are determined on this foundation and foundation loads are returned to foundation supplier. Shifting from this low level of integration to the use of integrated simulations, integrating the foundation design with wind turbine design tools, will remove conservatism and drive manufacturing and logistic costs down.
The Design Configurator operates at two levels. At the top level the optimal design routines decides on several overall dimensions of the lid, the shaft, and the skirts for site specific conditions such as water depth and soil properties. The structural behaviour is computed using a combination of simplified analytical models and finite element methods. At the lower level detailed structural optimization is performed to guarantee that specifications on structural requirements such as maximum stresses and buckling loads are met. The lower level uses advanced shell and solid finite element methods for computing the structural response. The optimization problems on both levels are partly combinatorial and special purpose numerical optimization methods are developed and implemented.
The Design Configurator is interlinked with the design system and 3-D modelling as basis for the production of the needed certification/installation documentation and production drawing inclusive of CAD/CAM information.


The Design Configurator is advanced optimization software coupling the developed models and analysis techniques with robust and efficient numerical optimization methods for conceptual design and for detailed structural optimization. The optimal design problems include the wind and wave loads, the soil/structure interaction models from, and the manufacturing and installation cost models. The Design Configurator is powerful enough to perform accurate optimal design of the individual foundations in an entire wind turbine farm.

Learning objectives
The increase in project sizes, an increased demand for reliable project execution across the supply chain and the general cost-out requirement make innovative initiatives with a high standardization and automation potential highly valued by customers and absolutely imperative to the competitiveness of offshore wind energy.