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THE GRAVITY-BASED STRUCTURE WEIGHT MATTERS

No transition piece Durable Can be sailed afloat to site

Disadvantages:

Heavy structure Expensive to install at depths above 10 meters

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Installing gravity based support structures at Roedsand 2, Denmark. The barge Eide Barge ! "as #itted "ith an $%&& ton li#ting capacity crane #or the purpose. 'hoto( )arsle## Bil#inger Berger *oint +enture

!he first offshore ind farm in the orld as placed on gravity bases" 11 large concrete structures eighing in average #0$ tonnes ere placed in the aters near the shore of %olland& Denmark back in year 1##1" !hey hold the ind turbines that constitute the 'indeby offshore ind farm" !oday& the gravity based support structure is basically constructed the same ay" !he principle of the gravity base is that the eight of the structure and ballast holds the to er and ind turbine in place& thus no drilling or hammering into the soil is needed" Ho ever& the seabed has to be prepared ith dredging& gravel and concrete" !he gravity based structure is typically constructed out of steel reinforced concrete" (ne case of steel gravity base is kno n" )t lo depths it is very affordable& but above 10 meters depth it generally is not competitive ith other types of structures" !he cost of the completed structure is in general proportional ith the depth s*uared" %argest in the orld on gravity bases is the !hornton +ank field in +elgium& ho despite the high costs has put gravity based support structures as deep as ,-". meters /,0". if one measures after installation and application of scour protection1" !his implies that the largest of the structures is 22 meters high and eighs 0000 tonnes" ,000 m0 of sand is filled inside the structure as ballast" Design !here is a lot to be gained if the design of the gravity3based structure is right"

!he design of early gravity3based structures as influenced by the round shapes of ind turbines and to ers" +ut round shapes are difficult to construct hen casting in concrete& and thus the design moves to ard rectangular sections" )n example: 4f the base of the support structure is circular& the casting of the concrete has to be done using specially built form ork" ) conical design makes the process even more difficult& and the construction of the form ork becomes a design challenge in itself" Ho ever& if the design uses rectangular sections& the casting can be done ith standard form ork from the construction industry" !here is 5 roughly speaking 5 no great difference bet een casting a rectangular3shaped gravity base and casting a concrete building" )ngular sections ere used partly in the design at the 6oedsand 44 ind farm in Denmark& and a ne design from 7trabag (ffshore 8ind 9mbH in 9ermany takes the idea a step further" 7trabag is one of the orld:s leading construction companies ith its -0&;00 employees and <1,"$ billion output volume& according to ,010 key figures& and they have been more inspired by the construction industry than by the previous gravity3based designs"

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The ,trabag solution. Rectangular shapes are considerably easier to produce than round designs. Illustration( ,trabag -##shore .ind /mb0

8ith a footprint that looks more like a Christmas tree stand than a support structure for an offshore ind turbine& the 7trabag design is definitely something ne " !he four rectangular cross3sections form a footprint that can transfer the same forces and loads as a round base" 7trabag has also experimented ith only three rectangular feet 5 this as used on a ind measuring platform at )rkona +asin 7outh3East ind farm 5 but eventually four feet proved to deliver the needed stability" !he rectangular box sections and the shaft are made from pre3stressed reinforced concrete" +ase plates are made from reinforced concrete" )long ith the support structure& 7trabag has developed a design for serial production& hich includes a port facility& here the hole structure including ind turbine is assembled& and a custom3made vessel that transports the structure to site"

)nother reason for constructing a custom3made vessel is the sheer si=e and structure" !he various measurements are:

eight of the

8eight of concrete structure: ;.00 t 8eight of ballast: 0000 t 8ater depth range: ,03;0 m Complete height of foundation: 2.3$0 m

) full3scale prototype of this design has been built at the factory in Cuxhaven& 9ermany" )nother design that tries to innovate on the gravity3based structure is the 9+>& a ?oint venture bet een 9ifford& +@! and >reyssinet" !hey also have designed a custom3made vessel along ith the support structure so that the ind turbine and support structure can be transported to site in one piece" !he 9+> as chosen for demonstration in the Carbon !rust offshore ind accelerator foundations competition in the AB" !he 9+> has not built its demonstrator yet /Cune ,0111" !here is more about the design in this article about 9+>" Installation 9ravity based supports structures need accurate preparation of the seabed" ) layer of gravel and concrete has to be leveled before placing the structure" Comprehensive dredging is usually needed before filling ith gravel and concrete" )fter installation& protection around the structure is needed in order to avoid soil erosion 5 so3called scour protection is applied" 4n some cases& the support structure is self3floating and can be tugged to site" !his allo s for production in dry docks 5 hen the construction is finished& the dock is filled ith ater& and the structure can be tugged" !his off course can reduce costs for heavy lifting barges" +ut in most cases& the gravity based structures are transported on barges" )t site the structures are lifted in place using heavy3lifting cranes i" e" the 6ambi= or Eide +arge ." )fter installation& ballast is pumped into the gravity base structures or layed on the base of the structure" !he ballast can constitute up to t o thirds of the final eight" 8hen installed& a final advantage of the gravity based support structure appears" !he concrete construction can last up to 100 years ith little maintenance"

REFERENCES

Deire& Benneth et al": E9ravity base foundations for the !hornton +anks offshore ind farm:& !erra et )*ua /,00#1 +rook3Hart& 8" et al": :Competitive concrete foundations for offshore ind turbines:& 9ifford /,00$1 8" E" de 'ries et al": E)ssessment of bottom3mounted support structure types:& Dro?ect Ap8ind /,00-1 (ffshore 7tandard: EDesign of (ffshore 8ind !urbine 7tructures& DN'3(73C101:& Det Norske 'eritas /,0101

Borsgaard& )nne: E9+> 9ravity base foundation:& (cean8ise /,0111 7trabag (ffshore: E(ffshore 8ind enters series production:& 7trabag (ffshore 8ind homepage /,0111 9+> homepage& 9ifford +@! >reyssinet /,0111 Carbon !rust& E(ffshore ind accelerator:& /,0111