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Logo: ISD/Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: ISD/Leibniz Universität Hannover
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Research project “Monitoring Suction Bucket Jacket"




German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has recently decided to grant the research project “Monitoring SBJ” € 1.1 mio. for research on the suction bucket technology.

The research project “Monitoring SBJ” is a joint venture between DONG Energy Wind Power, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).

The research will be based on measured data derived from the comprehensive monitoring system mounted on the recently installed Suction Bucket Jacket prototype foundation, located on the offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund.

Through analysis of the measured data, computerized methodologies and numerical models, the design and installation of suction bucket structures will be validated and further developed. The research project will furthermore investigate the structural behavior of the Suction Bucket Jacket as well as the environmental impact from the installation process. Leibniz Universität Hannover participates with two institutes, the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering (IGtH) and the Institute of Structural Analysis (ISD). IGtH simulates the installation process considering local effects of soil and water pressure, develops detailed numerical models to predict the accumulation of cyclic deformation as well as for the bearing capacity under combined loads and finally calculates the stiffness of the soil-structure-interaction based on the measured data and the before achieved results. ISD processes measured data from installation and operational states and analyzes how the suction bucket foundation influences the global dynamics – furthermore the activities include validation and updating of finite element and multi-physics applications with measured data in terms of stiffness, damping and inertia. BAM also develops a numerical model to assess the soil-structure-interaction, accumulation of deformations and excess pore pressures, but a different approach compared to IGtH is taken in order to compare the results to the findings of IGtH and the measured data.

By joining forces DONG Energy, Leibniz Universität Hannover and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing have composed a strong team of experts and researchers, which enables the basis for optimizing the suction bucket technology further, in order to pave the way for commercial application of suction buckets as a feasible foundation concept for the offshore wind industry, making it benefit in its entirety.

DONG Energy has developed the Suction Bucket Jacket as part of the industrialized jacket concept, which aims to fulfill the demands for the future offshore wind foundations. These demands include suitability for large scale turbines (? 6 MW) located on water depth between 30 – 60m, contribution to reduced cost of electricity and low noise installation process.

DONG Energy´s involvement in the research project will be managed as part of the Product Line Jacket module.

The Suction Bucket Jacket prototype has previously been supported by a £ 6 mio. funding from the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator program including five other major offshore developers: Mainstream, E.On, Statoil, Statkraft & ScottishPower Renewables.

Project management

Prof. Dr. Ing.-habil. Raimund Rolfes
Institute of Structural Analysis (ISD)
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Tel.: +49 511 762 5316


Dr.-Ing. Tanja Grießmann
Institute of Structural Analysis (ISD)

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Ehrmann
Institute of Structural Analysis (ISD)