The effects of operational loads and wind loads on offshore monopile wind turbines are well understood. For most sites, however, the water depth is such that breaking or near-breaking waves will occur causing impulsive excitation of the monopile and consequently considerable stresses and displacements in the monopile, tower and turbine. To investigate this, pilot model tests were conducted with a special model of an offshore wind turbine with realistic flexibility tested in (extreme) waves. This flexibility was considered to be necessary for two reasons: the impulsive loading of extreme waves is very complex and there can be an interaction between this excitation and the dynamic response of the foundation and tower. The tests confirmed the importance of the topic of breaking waves: horizontal accelerations of more than 0.5g were recorded at nacelle level in extreme cases.

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