Conceptual Monopile and Tower Sizing for the IEA Wind Task 37 Borssele Reference Wind Farm

Michael McWilliam, Anand Natarajan, Nicolo Pollini, Katherine Dykes, Garrett Barter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


This paper explores the preliminary design of the support structures for the IEA Wind Task 37 reference wind farm at the Borssele site III and IV. The study looks at two different design methods that might be used within larger wind farm system design optimization (i.e. lay-out, electrical systems, etc.). The first consists of a scaling tool that scales a detailed design according to the rated power, water depth, hub height and rotor diameter. The second is a physics-based optimization approach that relies on the WISDEM® design tool. This research compares the results of these two methods for the design of both the tower and monopile of the IEA 10-MW and 15-MW reference wind turbines at a range of sea depths (25 m, 30 m, 35 m, 40 m). The two tools yield very similar results in terms of monopile base diameter, support structure natural frequency and mass. WISDEM is then used to also investigate the sensitivity of the design to the tower top forces, wave conditions and the soil conditions. It is shown that tower top forces dominate the design. In general, large diameter structures can carry additional costs associated with manufacturing and transportation requirements. Thus, the paper is concluded with a trade-off study between mass and diameter that quantifies the effect of the reduction in monopile diameter with the increase in structural mass.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 012025
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2021
Event18th Deep Sea Offshore Wind R and D Conference, EERA DeepWind 2021 - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 13 Jan 202115 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-79144


  • monopile
  • offshore wind


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