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Support structures

Finn Gunnar Nielsen describes various support structures used for offshore wind turbines.

The key difference between an onshore and an offshore wind turbine is related to the support structure, or more specifically the sub-structure. Depending upon the water depth different sub-structures are used. In this lecture I describe some of the main concepts used and typical depth ranges for the various concepts.

Learning outcome:

  • Understand why different sub-structures need to be applied for different water depths.
  • Be able to describe various bottom fixed sub-structures in use.
  • Be able to describe two main principles used for stabilizing floating wind turbines.


  • What other issues than the wind farm location may be important for choice of sub-structure?
  • What requirements and limitations do you see for the various concepts with respect to manufacturing and assembly procedures?

Further reading.

Nielsen, F. G. (2024) Offshore Wind Energy: Environmental Conditions and Dynamics of Fixed and Floating Turbines, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

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Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

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