JIP Wave impact on fixed offshore turbines WiFi

Client: Joint Industry Project

assignment/short description

Cheaper construction of offshore wind farms possible

Wind turbines at sea could be much cheaper. The members of the Joint Industry Project ‘Wave Impact on Fixed turbine’ (JIP WiFi) are convinced that cost reductions are achievable. The design rules currently used to determine the impact of breaking waves on the turbines are very conservative. The thinking is that improving design guidelines and establishing a clearer picture of the interaction between the turbines and the maximum wave load can cut material costs by 10%.


The objective of the WiFi JIP is: To improve the way effects of steep (and breaking) waves are taken into account in the design methodology of fixed offshore wind turbines,so that optimised offshore wind turbines can be developed. The focus of the JIP will not only be on the extreme breaking waves, but also on more moderate sea states (as their loading is complex and important as well) and waves with specific characteristics, such as steep fronted as they have an important effect on the fatigue life of an offshore wind turbine. In short the overall focus of the WIFI JIP is:

  • Global loading and response, including turbine due to (breaking) waves
  • Wave run up and secondary structures loading due to (breaking) waves
  • Extreme and fatigue loading of the OWT due to (breaking) waves, in perspective of total design
  • Design alternatives: monopiles, jackets
  • Improve the design and classification methods in this field


The effects of operational loads and wind loads on offshore wind turbines (OWT) are reasonably well understood. For most sites, however, the water depth is such that breaking or near-breaking waves will occur causing impulsive excitation of the foundation and, consequently, considerable stresses and displacements in the foundation, tower and turbine. To ensure the integrity and safety of future offshore wind turbines, (extreme) waves should be taken into account in the design. A considerable amount of research has been carried out in this field but further insight is required to take this effect better into account in future wind farms. Obtaining further insight into (extreme) wave loadings and their impact requires a strong cooperation between engineering experts, operating experts, hydrodynamicists and aerodynamicists and reliability specialists.

Scale tests

Deltares together with MARIN will study in considerable detail the impact of steep and breaking waves on the pile structure in scale model tests. The study will also involve an examination of the influence of currents and bed morphology. The data from the research will allow us to make a better estimate of the risks and to improve the design rules so that designers and builders of offshore wind turbines can optimise their designs.


The results will be made available to the participants during the course of 2014. The main conclusions of the research and the amendments to the design rules will be made public two years after the conclusion of the JIP.
Project partners, which perform the defined work within the project:

  • Ramboll, engineering company
  • MARIN, research institute
  • Deltares, research institute
  • ECN, research institute
  • Statkraft, utility company
  • GL, classification company
  • DNV, classification company

Want to join JIP WiFi? Please contact .
Download brochure (in pdf)

More information

  • Jan-Joost Schouten
  • +31(0)6 4691 1168
  • Send mail

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