Technical risks of offshore structures

J. Klijnstra, X. Zhang, Sjoerd van der Putten, C. Rockmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Offshore areas are rough and high energy areas. Therefore, offshore constructions are prone to high technical risks. This chapter elaborates on the technical risks of corrosion and biofouling and technical risks through mechanical force. The expected lifetime of an offshore structure is to a great extent determined by the risk of failures through such risks. Corrosion and biofouling threaten the robustness of offshore structures. Detailed and standardized rules for protection against corrosion of offshore structures are currently lacking. There is a need for an accepted uniform specification. A major technical risk of a combined wind-mussel farm is that of a drifting aquaculture construction that strikes a wind turbine foundation. We investigate two scenarios related to this risk: (1) Can a striking aquaculture construction cause a significant damage to the foundation? (2) If a drifting aquaculture construction gets stuck around a turbine foundation and thus increases its surface area, can the foundation handle the extra (drag) forces involved? A preliminary qualitative assessment of these scenarios leads to the conclusion that a drifting mussel or seaweed farm does not pose a serious technical threat to the foundation of a wind farm. Damage to the (anticorrosive) paint of the turbine foundation is possible, but this will not lead to short term structural damage. Long term corrosion and damage risks can be prevented by taking appropriate maintenance and repair actions. Contrarily to mussel or seaweed farms, the impact/threat of a drifting fish farm on structural damage to a wind foundation depends on type, size and the way of construction of the fish cages. The risk of extra drag force due to a stuck aquaculture construction relates particularly to jacket constructions because any stuck construction may lead to (strong) increase of the frontal surface area of the immersed jacket structure and thereby give increased drag forces from currents or waves. To ensure an optimal lifetime and lower operational costs maintenance aspects of materials for both offshore wind and aquaculture constructions should be taken into account already in the design phase of combined infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAquaculture perspective of multi-use sites in the open ocean
Subtitle of host publicationthe untapped potential for marine resources in the Anthropocene
EditorsBela Buck, Richard Langan
ISBN (Print)9783319511573
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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