IQIP and Delft University of Technology have started their joint work on the monopile drivability investigation of the BLUE Piling Technology.
The BLUE Piling Technology is a new monopile installation technique being developed by IQIP which is said to reduce underwater noise levels by creating a gentler blow compared to the conventional impact hammers.
The gentle blow is delivered using a large water volume which delivers a longer blow duration on the monopile, IQIP said. As a result, the vibrations of the pile wall reduce, generating less underwater noise.
IQIP and TU Delft will now carry out an in-depth investigation of the hydro-mechanical interactions between a monopile and the surrounding soil during the installation.
IQIP is currently testing improvements in the technology on a small-scale hammer and these improvements will be implemented in a full-scale hammer next year.
Meanwhile, a team of geotechnical experts at the section of Geo-engineering at TU Delft are investigating the details of the soil-pile interaction during installation using advanced physical, analytical, and numerical modelling techniques.
A miniature scale of the BLUE Hammer is being designed and constructed at TU Delft, and will be combined with a heavily instrumented model monopile to conduct detailed parametric studies on the complex soil-pile-water interactions in various conditions.
These novel tests will be conducted in the geotechnical centrifuge under 50 times Earth’s gravitational acceleration field.
“It is clear that the industry is urgently looking for installation techniques that can reduce the environmental impacts during installation. We see that current technologies are reaching their limits,” Michael Schaap, Technical Director IQIP, said.
”It is therefore of great importance to address the underwater noise at the source. By reducing underwater noise levels at the source directly, the industry can save millions of euros on noise mitigation measures.”
The collaboration between IQIP and TU Delft on the BLUE Piling Technology project has received funding from Dutch government through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).