The design of monopile foundations for offshore wind farms, the estimate of wave loads, and the effect of the structures on the environment usually consider one single vertical cylinder. This choice is based on the size of the ratio cylinder diameter to wavelength, and on the large distances between turbines. However, for large arrays of monopiles, the ensemble effect must be investigated. This study addresses monochromatic wave propagation through a rectangular array of four cylinders 800 m and 300 m apart, considered here as the fundamental geometry for an arbitrary array of monopiles turbines. Results for bottom velocities, mean water level, mass transport, and radiation stress tensor in the presence of the array are compared with those for a single cylinder. The numerical model WAMIT® is used to compute the potential velocity solution. Relevant spatial variations were found, especially for radiation stresses, for different periods and directions of propagation. Diffraction effects on the wave field by the array are significantly stronger than the superposition of individual effects of isolated cylinders under the same conditions. Impacts of the entire wind farm on bottom morphodynamics near the foundations, on the design loads, and on the wave climate past the wind farm are discussed.
Wave-cylinder interaction; Monopile array; Radiation stress; Second-order effects; Offshore wind farms