PLAXIS Monopile Designer employs the most advanced and innovative method for designing laterally loaded monopiles – Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) – to optimise your foundation designs and lower steel, fabrication, transportation and installation costs.
PLAXIS Monopile Designer
PLAXIS Monopile Designer addresses many of the shortcomings of other design methods for construction in the offshore wind turbine sector. Fully interoperable with PLAXIS 3D, it can be used either as a stand-alone application when defining the soil reaction curves (rule-based design) or with the most advanced and widely used geotechnical software solution when extracting them numerically from 3D FEM models (numerical-based design).
Working together, PLAXIS Monopile Designer and PLAXIS 3D easily automate the process of generating and calculating 3D models, deriving, normalizing, and parameterizing soil reaction curves, and extracting them to the 1D model.
Innovative, robust and reliable
PLAXIS Monopile Designer is developed following the Plaxis engineering process. The underlying procedure has been validated via large-scale testing of monopile foundations at two test sites, a sand site (Dunkirk) and a clay site (Cowden).
In the very competitive offshore wind industry, less conservative dimensioning of each monopile of a wind farm will result in a significant reduction in the amount of steel, transportation and installation costs.
Optimised monopile design method
The enhanced design method of PLAXIS Monopile Designer analyses the ability of monopile foundations to resist lateral loads on the basis of a 1D Timoshenko beam finite element model, accurate even for large diameter monopiles, and realistic soil reaction curves, while retaining many of the assumptions of the more conventional p-y approach. Research has shown a potential reduction in the embedded length of the piles by up to 50%.
Seamless integration with the PLAXIS environment
PLAXIS Monopile Designer can either be used as a stand-alone tool, if the user supplies the soil reaction curves, or in connection with PLAXIS 3D, to calibrate them numerically according to the specific properties of the site. In addition to enabling PLAXIS Monopile Designer reach its full design potential, PLAXIS 3D offers a complete, well proven and robust finite element solution for any type of offshore or onshore structure. With its broad range of capabilities, multi-core calculations and 64-bit architecture, PLAXIS 3D along with its add-on modules, 3D PlaxFlow and 3D Dynamics, can deal with the largest and most complex geotechnical models.
State-of-the-art research brought to engineering practice
PLAXIS Monopile Designer has been developed in collaboration with Oxford University. It transfers the enhanced design method established in the PISA Final Report to current industry design practice. Future findings of PISA will be implemented as they become available.
Optimised for Monopile Foundations
More than 80% of existing offshore wind foundations are monopiles. In spite of this prominence, the conventional design approach in use (p-y method) has been largely disputed, and has been shown to lead to over-conservative designs. This method was created for long and slender foundation piles and only takes into account horizontal soil reactions along the shaft. The main alternative, 3D FE analysis, is computationally too demanding for the thousands of load cases contemplated in offshore engineering. The PISA method addresses these shortcomings by introducing a pile model that does not depend on slenderness assumptions and also considers shaft shear and base reactions. These are most relevant as the diameter grows larger with respect to the pile length, as it is the case for monopile foundations, leading to a significant optimisation in structural dimensioning.
Innovative, reliable, tested
PLAXIS Monopile Designer has been developed by Plaxis in collaboration with the PISA Academic Work Group, drawn from University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and University College Dublin, and Fugro, an expert designer of offshore wind foundations. Its implementation has been validated using both 3D FE models and experimental results from the PISA field tests at Dunkirk, France, and Cowden, UK. Future research related to PISA (e.g. PISA2) will also be implemented in PLAXIS Monopile Designer.
Advance your design practice
The p-y approach has undergone little change since its development in the 1970s. Its application is limited to generic rule-based (p-y) soil reaction curves, validated for a narrow range of geometries and soil types. This has led the same industry-wide standards that recommend using this method to also prescribe the need for numerical 3D FE validation. While PLAXIS Monopile Designer enables the conventional rule-based approach, it also implements an automated workflow for a numerical-based methodology. Under the latter, site-specific soil reaction curves are calibrated using the actual soil characteristics from a small set of PLAXIS 3D FE models that define the project design envelope. This allows specific, precise, soil reaction curves that accurately model the site soil conditions and geometry space of the project. It also provides a means of advancement towards a global database of project-specific soil curves. Further improvements in numerical methods or constitutive models will enrich this database and enhance existing soil reaction data sets.
Drive down costs right at the foundation
Foundations amount to 20-30% of capital costs of offshore wind. Through realistic modelling of the pile-soil interaction, PLAXIS Monopile Designer enables dramatic reductions in the embedded length of each monopile in an offshore wind farm. Optimising the amount of steel per monopile leads to further savings in fabrication time and cost; logistics and handling operations; installation time, cost and risk; and environmental impact. Leverage the enhanced PISA design method and start realising XXL savings today.
Fast 1D iterations with the accuracy of full 3D
PLAXIS Monopile Designer employs a robust and highly-efficient 1D FE solver to model the behaviour of the embedded monopile under lateral loading. It makes use of Timoshenko beam theory to account for shear deformations, while the soil response is captured through a set of soil reaction curves (under the PISA method: distributed load, distributed moment, base shear, and base moment), either user-defined (rule-based design) or calibrated from a set of PLAXIS 3D models (numerical-based design). Thus, design iterations for multiple geometries and load cases can be run in seconds rather than in hours. An excellent match is obtained between numerically-calibrated 1D and full 3D results.
Integrate seamlessly with PLAXIS along the whole project lifecycle
Use PLAXIS Monopile Designer either as a stand-alone application when defining the soil reaction curves (rule-based design) or in connection with PLAXIS 3D to extract them numerically from geotechnical 3D models (numerical-based design). At concept and preliminary design stages, rule-based curves can be defined via generalised formulation, extracted from the literature or industry standards, order-of-magnitude calibrations, or using data from similar projects. As more detailed site investigation and soil testing data are obtained, a design envelope of 3D FE models with advanced constitutive models can be employed for the numerical calibration of high-quality soil reaction curves, which can then be used to fine-tune the final design. The interlink between PLAXIS Monopile Designer and PLAXIS 3D easily automates the process of generating and calculating the 3D models; deriving, normalising and parameterising the soil reaction curves; and their extraction to the 1D model. Once a valid design is attained, it can easily be re-created in PLAXIS 3D for any additional checks and verifications.
Bentley Practitioner Licenses
Pair practitioner-named software licenses with expert services to ensure you are getting the most value from your software investment. Benefits include:
Training Tailored to Individual Needs: Choose from customized instruction to on-demand learning and mentoring.
Accelerate Workflows: Boost design, analysis, and modeling skills team-wide while reducing rework.
Affordable Lower Upfront Costs: plus access to expert training ensures a faster return on investment.
We recognise infrastructure professionals are constantly seeking ways to work more efficiently by improving their knowledge and increasing their productivity. A Virtuoso Subscription is included with your software purchase, providing access to:
- Online Live Workshops
- OnDemand Training
- Quick Tutorials
- Expert Advice
- All of Bentley’s Virtual Events
Each license includes a number of Virtuosity Keys or tokens which can be used to help pay for the expert services and training you need to take your project to the next level. The number of Keys received with each subscription varies based on the software purchased. Further Keys can be purchased separately.
Keys provide add-on value to subscribers with exclusive rights to the tailored training materials built specifically to help you work more efficiently. Choose from tailor-made training, on-demand learning, and mentoring services to build the support program needed for your engineers and designers. Expert services will help improve your design, analysis, and modeling skills to help increase productivity and reduce time away from project work.
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