Life-time-research on Support Structures in the Offshore Test Site alpha ventus


Duration of the project:
02/2013 – 01/2018

Contract number of the project:

Research projects

The following research projects are part of GIGAWIND life:

  • Validated methods and structural models for a holistic and economic design of offshore wind turbine support structures (Leibniz Universität Hannover, FKZ 0325575A)
  • Condition evaluation and prediction for offshore wind turbines based on measurement data (Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, FKZ 0325575C)
  • Automated lifetime estimation for tripod support structures considering real loads (Adwen GmbH, FKZ 0325575B)

Definition and goal of the project

Goal of the comprehensive project GIGAWIND life is the enhancement of the economic dimensioning concept for offshore wind turbine support structures, that has been developed in GIGAWIND alpha ventus, by consideration of long-time operation. There are both degradation mechanisms on the resistance side of the environmental surrounded support structure (damages of structure and welds, fatigue, damages of corrosion protection systems, scour, degradation of pile support behavior) and the determination of acting loads from waves and marine growth, which interact with the support structure. The wanted data of damage and stress at the interaces will be obtained over a longer timeframe from measurements in the offshore test site alpha ventus by usage of the hitherto developed monitoring methods. This is the requirement to get a scientific perception from the previous investments and to make validated methods and structural models based on world-wide unique long-time measurements for single studies as well as for holistic offshore support structure design concepts available.


The Subprojects

  • Data Management and Analysis,
  • Monitoring and Inspection,
  • Degradation Models,
  • Adapted Model Tests,
  • Integration of Methods and Models,
  • Automated Life Time Calculation of Tripod Support Structures under Consideration of Real Loads


Contacts and partner

Leibniz University Hannover

Institute of Structural Analysis (ISD)

Institute for Steel Construction (IfS)

Institute of Building Materials Science (IfB)

Institute of Geotechnique (IGtH)

Institute of Concrete Construction (IfMa)


Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Associate partner)

Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES)
Am Seedeich 45
27572 Bremerhaven

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM)
Wiener Straße 12
28359 Bremen

Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF)
Bartningstraße 47
64289 Darmstadt


Adwen GmbH (Associate partner)

Senvion SE (Cooperations partner)

Final report

You can find the final report (only available in German) here.


Here you can find the list of publications of the Project “GIGAWIND life”.