The effects of operational wave loads and wind loads on offshore mono pile wind turbines are well understood. For most sites, however, the water depth is such that breaking or near-breaking waves will occur causing impulsive excitation of the mono pile and consequently considerable stresses, displacements and accelerations in the mono pile, tower and turbine.
Model tests with a flexible mono pile wind turbine were carried out to investigate the effect of breaking waves. In these model tests the flexibility of the turbine was realistically modelled. These model tests were used for validation of a numerical model for the flexible response of wind turbines due to breaking waves. A focusing wave group has been selected which breaks just aft of the wind turbine.
The numerical model consists of a one-way coupling between a CFD model for breaking wave loads and a simplified structural model based on mode shapes. An iterative wave calibration technique has been developed in the CFD method to ensure a good match between the measured and simulated incoming wave profile. This makes a deterministic comparison between simulations and measurements possible. This iteration is carried out in a 2D CFD domain (long-crested wave restriction) and is therefore relatively cheap. The calibrated CFD wave is then simulated in a (shorter) 3D CFD domain including a (fixed) wind turbine. The resulting wave pressures on the turbine have been used to compute the modal excitation and subsequently the modal response of the wind turbine. The horizontal accelerations resulting from this one-way coupling are in good agreement with the measured accelerations.