Environmental assessment of offshore wind energy devices
The installation of Offshore Wind Energy Device (OWED) will inevitably alter the flow patterns around the devices. This may enhance the sediment transport and scour around the foundation, thus leading to the instability of offshore wind energy device foundation, and further resultant failure of the whole system.
Persistent vortices and wakes will be generated downstream of the current, which may re-suspend seabed sediments, generating turbidity currents near the seabed and affecting the marine animals. Both wind and wave loading may cause vibration of offshore wind energy device, which may loosen the sediment/soil around the foundation of offshore wind energy device. Therefore, the phenomenon is a complex fluid-soil-structure interaction (FSSI).
The aims of the proposed project are to develop advanced numerical models for assessing the impact of the offshore wind energy device on the seabed sediment dynamics and local and global scour patterns around the offshore wind energy device. The project will focus on two aspects, using numerical modelling:
(i) the flow pattern around the offshore wind energy device; and
(ii) sediment transport and scour process around the offshore wind energy device.