Growth through Research, development & demonstration in Offshore Wind

Project:

Silent Installation of MonoPiLEs III (SIMPLE III)

Demonstrating the Vibrojet® technique offshore

WHY

The most used support structure in the North Sea are monopiles. The current dominant technique to install monopile is impact driving, which is considered a sub-optimal method. In the SIMPLE (Silent Installation of MonoPiLEs) programme, GBM Works is developing the Vibrojet® installation method, combining the vibro technique with water jetting inside the monopile. This new installation method will reduce installation costs and noise levels, preventing harmful impacts on marine life. The Vibrojet® is also easier to apply than impact hammering, as it eliminates the complex and time-consuming use of common noise mitigation measures such as bubble screens.

A jet gun delivers the jetting part of the Vibrojet®. Attached to the bottom of the foundation pile above the pile tip, the jet gun lowers the soil resistance by fluidising the soil inside the pile. A conventional vibro hammer adds vibrations.

Before the new technique can be applied commercially, specific technical aspects must be met, amongst others:

  1. Installations to target depth.
  2. The lateral bearing capacity of the pile has to be determined.
  3. The noise level must be quantified to show that it is lower than that of traditional installation methods.
  4. The technique must be certified.

The figure below provides an overview of the various projects forming the SIMPLE programme.

To date, the SIMPLE I and SIMPLE II projects have been completed, and the SIMPLE IIB project is ongoing.

At this stage, the following results have been achieved:

  1. Driveability of piles through dense sandy soils up to three times deeper and four times faster while applying the Vibrojet® compared to vibratory hammering only.
  2. Significant noise reduction can be expected based on measurements of strain levels in the pile.
  3. Development of an effective system to control water flows in the pile so that the impact on the (lateral) bearing capacity is minimal.
  4. Design and manufacture of multiple Vibrojet® prototypes. The Vibrojet® will be used for commercial installations in 2026.

WHAT

During the SIMPLE-III offshore test campaign, noise measurements will be made to determine the reduction in noise of Vibrojet® installations compared to those with the vibro-technique and impact driving. The data generated will deliver sufficient confidence to install piles in a commercial project by bringing down the risk to an acceptable level.

The offshore tests will be designed in close cooperation with project partners representing the whole value chain. The tests are required to demonstrate the technique's performance and will increase the predictability of the Vibrojet®. Specifically, we will increase confidence in scaling factors for the jetting technology and improve understanding of required flow rates to minimise the fluidisation volume.

The tests will be performed with a pile of 4 m diameter, 62 m length, wall thickness of 45mm and a weight of 145mT. In total, there will be three tests with the Vibro technique only and three with the Vibrojet®. Each test is concluded with a decommissioning test with the Vibrojet®.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The SIMPLE III project will bring the Vibrojet® technique to technology readiness level (TRL) 7. By testing the technology under large-scale offshore conditions in sandy soils, enough data will be generated to achieve Technology Qualification by DNV. The project will compare the Vibrojet® and the vibro and impact hammering on costs, underwater noise and fatigue damage in the pile. Furthermore, the refusal depth will be assessed of the Vibrojet® technique compared to that of the Vibro installation.

Contact Details

GBM Works

Marcelo Werneck
+31 6 2340 7167

Technology Readiness Level

Maturity level: 6.
        7,
        6 7

Project duration

Theme

Environment Foundation Installation
Jetgun prototype of SIMPLE I magnify Jetgun prototype of SIMPLE I

Jetgun prototype of SIMPLE I

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Jetgun prototype of SIMPLE I

Field tests of SIMPLE II magnify Field tests of SIMPLE II

Field tests of SIMPLE II

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Field tests of SIMPLE II

Field test SIMPLE I magnify Field test SIMPLE I

Field test SIMPLE I

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Field test SIMPLE I

Other information

This project is supported with a subsidy by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Find more project information at the TKI Offshore Energy website.

Partners

Associate project partners