Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence Geotechnical Science and Engineering

Multidirectional loading characterisation on a shared suction anchor for Wave Energy Converters


This project will develop the science required to predict the geotechnical behaviour of suction caissons (upturned buckets that are sucked into the seabed) under multidirectional alternate cyclic loading. It will also establish the viability of mooring multiple floating renewable energy devices to a single caisson by developing analysis methods for the installation, operation and decommissioning of the anchor. The research aims are to:

Aim 1. Measure and quantify the behaviour of a suction caisson subjected to monotonic loading in alternating directions.

Aim 2. Measure and quantify the behaviour of a suction caisson subjected to periodic phases of multidirectional cyclic loading.

Aim 3. Qualify the suction caisson and mooring line anchoring system as an efficient, practicable solution for anchor sharing of large arrays of ocean energy devices. This will require models for the whole life cycle.

Aim 4. Integrate outcomes from Aims 1, 2 and 3 into a robust framework to design suction caissons for multidirectional alternate cyclic loading.

Why my research is important

This project will establish a geotechnical design framework for shared anchoring systems subjected to multidirectional cyclic loading. This will enable the design of large arrays of floating wind turbines and floating wave energy converters, generating radical cost savings and unlocking Australia’s renewable ocean energy resources.