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Life-extension and Repowering of Aged Offshore Wind Turbine Structures

   Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering

About the Project

An efficient source of renewable energy, which is increasingly the preferred solution for realising the UK’s short- and long-term energy demand, is offshore wind. Offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are typically designed for 20-25 years of operation. These enormously large-scale engineering structures are designed for operation in the hostile marine environment where they are subjected to variable amplitude cyclic loads from the wind, wave and the current. This means that corrosion and fatigue analyses must be comprehensively implemented in the engineering design, damage analysis and life prediction of these structures.

With a large number of OWTs commissioned between early to late 2000s in the UK, there are currently hundreds of wind turbines which are soon approaching their end of initial design life. Therefore, appropriate decisions must be made regarding decommissioning, life-extension or repowering of the aged OWTs. This research project investigates the accumulated level of corrosion-fatigue damage throughout the operational lifespan of OWT foundations to provide a realistic assessment of the remaining lifetime by considering the operational loading conditions and the level of conservatism in the design criteria. Furthermore, engineering solutions will be developed to enable life-extension and repowering using the existing OWT infrastructure. Last but not least, techno-economic assessments will be conducted to identify the most cost-effective solution which is supported by engineering calculations.

This 4-year EngD studentship is sponsored by EPSRC through the Wind & Marine Energy Systems & Structures Centre for Doctoral Training (WAMSS CDT). The Wind & Marine Energy Systems & Structures (WAMSS) is an EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), led by the University of Strathclyde, working collaboratively with Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh. The Centre aims to train the next generation of technical leaders, through EngD and PhD graduates, for the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector.

The successful candidate will join the next intake of the WAMSS CDT in October 2022, and will be supervised by Prof. Ali Mehmanparast and Prof. Feargal Brennan from the department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering at University of Strathclyde. This EngD position is suitable for high calibre candidates with a strong background in Marine/Mechanical/Civil/Materials/Structural Engineering or Naval Architecture.

This EPSRC-funded EngD studentship is open to UK and eligible EU citizens (with Settlement status) with a first class, or strong upper second class, honours degree in Mechanical/Civil/Materials/Structural Engineering. Additional EngD studentships on this topic, funded by industry, might be available for strong international candidates.

For informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Ali Mehmanparast (Email: ), with “OWT Life-extension Studentship” in the email subject.

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