Vibration Pile Validation (VIBRO)

The Vibration Pile Validation (VIBRO) project, assessed vibro-driving installations of steel foundations as a potentially cheaper, and more environmentally friendly method, than conventional impact hammering techniques used to install offshore wind foundations. The project involved a large-scale testing campaign at an onshore test site in Altenwalde Germany, with saturated, sandy soils; similar to widespread seabed conditions in the North Sea. 

Image
VIBRO offshore wind

VIBRO’s test on land highlighted that using vibrodriving could make the pile installation process up to ten times faster than conventional hammering. However, in the course of the tests it was discovered that the vibratory installation method has a substantial effect on the lateral load-bearing capacity of the piles. The consortium devised a methodology that made it possible to pre-determine the load-bearing capacity of vibrated piles. If during the installation process various parameters, such as vibratory frequencies or pile design, are controlled, similar lateral load-bearing capacities to hammered piles could be achieved. 

The VIBRO project could not answer all questions. Further research was needed to determine the commercial viability of vibro-driving as an alternative to hammering, in particular with regards to the load-bearing capacity of vibro-driven piles. As a result, the OWA launched another large R&D project, VIBRO Re-strike, which revisited the test site more than one year after pile installation was completed to measure the set-up effect that builds up over time at embedded piles. 

Together, VIBRO and VIBRO Re-strike have played a critical role in de-risking and maturing vibro-driving technology. In May 2021, the leading partner in both consortiums, RWE, announced its Kaskasi offshore wind farm will be the first commercial offshore wind farm to use this improved installation method.

Project end date

2016

Project lead

RWE

Partners

RWE (former RWE Innogy and E.ON), Ørsted (former DONG Energy), EnBW, and Vattenfall  

Setup under

Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) 

Contact
Tobias profile

Tobias Verfuss, Senior Manager, tobias.verfuss@carbontrust.com

Related

VideoPVE 500M test project Cuxhaven