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HBK strain gauges measure vibration of new pile driving method for offshore wind turbines

02 August 2021

Dutch installation specialist, GBM Works, is developing a new method to reduce the noise pollution caused by driving foundation piles for wind turbines into the seabed.

This method involves fluidising the seabed with water jets, which ensures the monopiles sink much more quickly – and with significantly less noise – under their own weight. To assess this new system at the Maasvlakte site, tests were carried out to measure the monopiles’ vibrations and deformations, using strain gauges supplied by HBK.

Ben Arntz, Founder and Director of GBM Works, explains: “Driving foundation piles for wind turbines into the seabed causes vibrations, pressure waves and – in particular – also a great deal of noise. When a steel foundation pile with a diameter of eight metres is driven, the noise production can reach … up to 180 decibels. The vibrations, the pressure waves and the loud noise have a negative effect on underwater life. Therefore, regulations have been adopted to reduce the noise production of pile driving activities at sea. International guidelines are expected to become stricter in the coming years. Our new method responds to this.”

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA

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