Specific requirements for MRE foundation analysis



Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) systems involve single or arrays of devices that are secured to the seafloor via foundations and/or anchors. These MRE devices will transmit long-term cyclic loads to the seafloor sediment or rock, which may affect seafloor material properties and hence the overall physical performance of the MRE system. The response of seafloor sediments or rock formations is uncertain for the novel MRE systems and especially large arrays of 10s to >1000s of devices.

This report summarizes critical inputs and tools for the design and analysis of foundations, anchors, and the response of the seafloor materials. Followed by an introduction in Section 1, Section 2 reviews the offshore structure and MRE literature to highlight current approaches and needed inputs for assessing interactions between foundations or anchors and seafloor materials, including potential environmental impacts. Section 3 addresses relevant marine geological settings that control key geotechnical engineering properties. Data collection activities are described, including in-situ site surveys and laboratory testing. Section 4 considers the unique interactions between MRE systems and seafloor materials, particularly cyclic loading and sediment response. Section 5 describes analytical and numerical tools and associated inputs for the design process of MRE foundations and anchors. Constitutive models are key to simulating sediment response and thus are discussed in detail. Important summary tables relate key variables of geology, geotechnical parameters, foundation or anchor type, and quantitative assessment tools including numerical analysis. Section 5 also addresses the incorporation of the geotechnical analysis into system-level tools to support decision making for MRE arrays. Section 6 presents conclusions and recommendations for future work.