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Comparative Experimental and Numerical Study of Wave Loads on A Monopile Structure Using Different Turbulence Models


This study numerically and experimentally investigates the effects of wave loads on a monopile-type offshore wind turbine placed on a 1: 25 slope at different water depths as well as the effect of choosing different turbulence models on the efficiency of the numerical model. The numerical model adopts a two-phase flow by solving Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) equations using the Volume Of Fluid (VOF) method and three different kω turbulence models. Typical environmental conditions from the East China Sea are studied. The wave run-up and the wave loads applied on the monopile are investigated and compared with relevant experimental data as well as with mathematical predictions based on relevant theories. The numerical model is well validated against the experimental data at model scale. The use of different turbulence models results in different predictions on the wave height but less differences on the wave period. The baseline kω turbulence model and Shear-Stress Transport (SST) kω turbulence model exhibit better performance on the prediction of hydrodynamic load, at a model-scale water depth of 0.42 m, while the laminar model provides better results for large water depths. The SST kω turbulence model performs better in predicting wave run-up for water depth 0.42 m, while the laminar model and standard kω model perform better at water depth 0.52 m and 0.62 m, respectively.

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The authors acknowledge the Supercomputer Center of Dalian University of Technology for providing computing resources.

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Correspondence to Wei Shi.

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Foundation item

This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 52071058 and 51939002), partially supported by Liaoning Revitalization Talents Program (Grant No, XLYC1807208), and the Special Funds for Promoting High Quality Development from Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province (Grant No. GDNRC [2020]015).

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Zeng, Xm., Shi, W., Michailides, C. et al. Comparative Experimental and Numerical Study of Wave Loads on A Monopile Structure Using Different Turbulence Models. China Ocean Eng 35, 554–565 (2021).

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Key words

  • hydrodynamic loads
  • turbulence models
  • Morison equation
  • wave run-up
  • numerical wave tank
  • monopile structure