The concept of macro-element modelling – which was first introduced almost 30 years ago – has proven to be a convenient and accurate technique for modelling offshore foundations, but historically these models have mainly been used for academic purposes. Recent developments in foundation modelling now allow for application of such models in engineering practise and design. One such example is the family of new macro-element models that have been developed in the research project REDWIN to represent the foundation behaviour in dynamic analyses of Offshore Wind Turbines (OWTs). These models exhibit characteristic foundation behaviour such as nonlinearity, coupling of the load from different load components and hysteretic load dependent damping.
This paper presents two of the REDWIN models, one applicable for monopile foundations and one for skirted suction caisson foundations. Use of the models are demonstrated through two practical problems that reflect typical design analyses of OWTs: the first example shows a fatigue damage assessment for a monopile, and the second considers an extreme load event for a suction bucket jacket. The structural response is computed using the REDWIN foundation models and compared with the response based on distributed API p-y springs for the monopile and clamped legs at seabed for the jacket. Special emphasis is devoted to how the model input is obtained to guide readers on practical use of the models.