Presentations - WindEurope Annual Event 2024

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Methodology to assess scour development around complex structures

Javier Sarmiento, Senior Engineer, IHCantabria - Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de la Universidad de Cantabria, Spain


The offshore wind industry has undergone significant development over the last 30 years. The main wind farms consist of piloted or seabed-supported foundations, mainly located in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. When a structure is supported on the seabed, it generates an increase in flow velocity, turbulence and vorticity around the structure. This results in an increased erosive capacity around the structure, leading to what is known as scour [1] and [2]. At present, various formulations exist for cylindrical structures. However, when it comes to more complex structures with singular geometries such as offshore substations (OSS), there is no semi-empirical formulation that allows us to accurately estimate the development of scour. In this context, a hybrid methodology based on existing formulations (based on own previous experiences), numerical simulations (potential flow and CFD) and experimental tests at reduce scale has been developed with the aim of studying the development of free scour around complex structures like OSS (offshore substations). Quite often OSS are rectangular jacket foundations composed of several pile clusters. The main objective of this article is the presentation of a hybrid methodology to evaluate the free scour development around complex structures including some results obtained for different OSS.

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