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Development of screw anchors for floating Marine Renewable Energy system arrays incorporating anchor sharing

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SAFS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Nethergate
city: DUNDEE
postcode: DD1 4HN

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2019-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE UK (DUNDEE) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

Classical anchoring solutions are inappropriate for the development of new marine renewable energy devices (wind/waves/tides). They are too expensive and not efficient. Organising devices in arrays is a solution where adjacent devices share an anchor. It reduces the total number of anchors necessary and the overall cost. In turn the loading applied to an anchor is a complex combination of horizontal and uplift cyclic loads. Screw anchors are piles which are fitted with one or several helices at their end. They are installed into the soil by applying a torque and are assumed to have an excellent resistance against uplifting. The objective of this work is to study the fundamental behaviour of screw anchors upon complex loading in sand. A unique database of physical modelling tests (using cutting edge centrifuge apparatus) representative of small arrays of devices will be developed. In particular the tests will assess their uplift capacity after low level cyclic loading (fatigue behaviour). Numerical simulations, validated against experimental results, will provide additional information. Finally a new design methodology taking into account multi-directional and fatigue loading will be derived. This comprehensive topic has never been investigated before in sand. The University of Dundee offers cutting edge centrifuge facilities and has an outstanding experience in physical modelling. A designed experimental set-up is able to install screw piles in flight and apply a multi-directional loading. I will build on my strong background in numerical modelling to carry out the numerical part of the project. EU targets the ambitious objective to derive 20% of its electricity production from renewable sources by 2020. The energy revolution has just started and should generate many jobs and investments in Europe. This project will clear technical and economical hurdles associated with anchoring. It will improve competitiveness and leadership of EU on the renewable energy market.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Benjamin Cerfontaine, Jonathan Knappett, Michael John Brown , Craig Davidson, Therar Al-Baghdadi, Yaseen Sharif, Andrew Brennan, Charles Augarde, William Coombs, Lei Wang, Anthony Blake, David Richards and Jon Ball
(Submitted for publication) A Finite Element approach for determining the full load-displacement relationship of axially-loaded screw anchors, incorporating installation effects
published pages: , ISSN: 0008-3674, DOI:
Canadian Geotechnical Journal 2020-01-27
2019 Cerfontaine, B., Knappett, J., Brown, M., Bradsaw, A. S.
Design of plate and screw anchors in dense sand: failure mechanism, capacity and deformation
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (IS-Glasgow 2019) 2020-01-27
2019 Brown, M., Sharif, Y., Ciantia, M., Knappett, J., Davidson, C., Cerfontaine, B., Robinson, S.
Numerically modelling the installation and loading of screw piles using dem
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Screw Piles for Energy Applications, Dundee, United Kingdom. 2020-01-27
2019 Brown, M., Davidson, C., Brennan, A., Knappett, J., Cerfontaine, B., Sharif, Y.
Physical modelling of screw piles for offshore wind energy foundations
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Screw Piles for Energy Applications, Dundee, United Kingdom. 2020-01-27
2019 Cerfontaine, B., Knappett, J., Brown, M., Davidson, C., Sharif, Y.
Screw pile design optimisation under tension in sand
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.32075/17ecsmge-2019-0696
Proceedings of the XVII ECSMGE-2019 2020-01-27
2020 Benjamin Cerfontaine, Jonathan Knappett, Michael John Brown, Craig Davidson, Yaseen Sharif
(Submitted for publication) Optimised design of screw anchors in tension in sand for renewable energy applications
published pages: , ISSN: 0951-8339, DOI:
Marine Structures 2020-01-27
2019 Cerfontaine, B., Brown, M., Knappett, J., Davidson, C.
Finite element modelling of the uplift behaviour of screw piles in sand
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.20933/100001123
Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Screw Piles for Energy Applications 2020-01-27
2019 Benjamin Cerfontaine, Jonathan A. Knappett, Michael J. Brown, Aaron S. Bradshaw
Effect of soil deformability on the failure mechanism of shallow plate or screw anchors in sand
published pages: 34-45, ISSN: 0266-352X, DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.01.007
Computers and Geotechnics 109 2020-01-27

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