The support structure is the construction between the tower and the foundation. The support structure includes the transition piece, if there is one (LORC 2011)
Definitions are somewhat shifting as to what the offshore wind sector calls the foundation and the support structure for offshore wind turbines. This article explains the terms used at LORC Knowledge – which are also the terms used by the other leading research facilities.
The main parts of an offshore wind turbine are – from top to bottom:
In many places, one can see the term foundation used for the whole part of the installation below the tower. But this is too general. Therefore, in modern offshore research ‘the foundation’ is only the part of the construction actually in the soil or keeping the support structure in place on the bottom of the seabed.
The construction above the soil is called the support structure, and in modern terminology this includes the transition piece. This is due to the fact that more and more structure concepts include the transition piece – to the level where one would say that there is no transition piece, but just a transition between the tower and the support structure.
For example, in this terminology the jacket is a support structure which is usually piled into the soil (piled foundation).
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