The dynamic response of the supporting structure is critical for the in-service stability and safety of offshore wind turbines (OWTs). The aim of this paper is to first illustrate the complexity of environmental loads acting on an OWT and reveal the significance of its structural dynamic response for the OWT safety. Second, it is aimed to investigate the long-term performance of the OWT founded on a monopile in dense sand. Therefore, a series of well-scaled model tests have been carried out, in which an innovative balance gear system was proposed and used to apply different types of dynamic loadings on a model OWT. Test results indicated that the natural frequency of the OWT in sand would increase as the number of applied cyclic loading went up, but the increasing rate of the frequency gradually decreases with the strain accumulation of soil around the monopile. This kind of the frequency change of OWT is thought to be dependent on the way how the OWT is cyclically loaded and the shear strain level of soil in the area adjacent to the pile foundation. In this paper, all test results were plotted in a nondimensional manner in order to be scaled up to predict the consequences for prototype OWT in sandy seabed.

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