Neutrons – a breath of fresh air for the offshore wind turbine industry
07 Jan 2020







​ENGIN-X has helped tackle one of the most pressing concerns facing the offshore wind turbine industry – the assessment of the structural integrity of turbine foundations. Offshore wind farms are developing quickly and, by 2030, they could be providing up to a third of the UK's electricity. Wind turbines require resilient foundations that must cope with both high stresses during installation and a harsh offshore environment during operation. The assessment of the structural integrity of wind turbine foundations is, therefore, a critical issue for the energy industry.

The most widespread type of wind turbine foundation, the monopile, is constructed by welding a series of steel "cans" together.  Once assembled, the full-sized structure can span up to 10 metres in diameter and 70 metres in length. The monopiles are then hammered deep into the seabed, anchoring the wind turbine to the ground and supporting its structure.

Researchers from Cranfield University, the Open University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology used ENGIN-X to investigate the influence of the welding process on steel used in offshore monopile structures. They conducted neutron diffraction measurements on a welded component often used in offshore wind monopiles. Their findings will help to improve the design of future offshore wind monopile structures.

Related publication: “Residual stress measurements in offshore wind monopile weldments using neutron diffraction technique and contour method" Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, Volume 96, August 2018, Pages 418-427, DOI: 10.1016/j.tafmec.2018.06.001

Authors: Anais Jacob (Cranfield University), Jeferson Oliveira (The Open University), Ali Mehmanparast (Cranfield University), Foroogh Hosseinzadeh (The Open University), Joe Kelleher (ISIS), Filippo Berto (Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

Instrument: Engin-X

Contact: de Laune, Rosie (STFC,RAL,ISIS)