The Geotechnics Sub-Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Committee is preparing a guide document for marine renewable energy foundations. That guide would use standard design codes for fixed foundations and mooring anchors in API RP 2GEO and DNV.
The static method of computing axial pile capacity described in API RP 2GEO (2011) is generally used to compute ultimate compressive and tensile capacities of pipe piles driven to a given penetration. Lateral soil resistance –pile deflection (p-y) data for clays and sands are usually developed using procedures proposed by Matlock (1970) and O'Neill and Murchison (1983), respectively, and outlined in API RP 2GEO (2011). Marine energy foundations are unique in several ways. Axial pile capacity computations are usually based on a reasonable lower bound, in contrast to the soil resistance to driving, which is based on a reasonable upper bound. For structures supporting wind turbines, however, underestimating (or overestimating) the soil stiffness could require a change in turbine operation and a loss of power production. Although the classical API method is recognized as an appropriately conservative design method for offshore pile foundations, a prediction method is more well suited for structures supporting wind turbines, such as the CPT-based methods for predicting pile capacity in granular soils presented in API RP 2GEO (2011). If a prediction method is used to compute the soil resistance to driving, the evaluation of pile drivability may be overly conservative. Ageing in both clay and sand should also be taken into account. Wind turbines are often supported on large diameter monopiles. The applicability of the p-y data for such large diameter piles needs to be verified. Finally, marine renewable energy generated by in-stream hydrokinetics, ocean thermal energy conversion, and wave energy converters may be floating devices usually anchored to the seafloor. There are uncertainties in the design and installation of these anchors, which become critical for large sustained tensile loads that may degrade due to creep and cyclic loading.