Durability Engineering Expertise for wind turbine foundations

Wind Energy

Specification review regarding concrete durability

SIMCO’s experts have reviewed and audited the concrete durability practices and specifications of both private and public asset owners.  A specification review complements owners’ existing design and specification philosophies regarding concrete performance and durability objectives with the state of best practices and modern developments in concrete materials, technologies, and maintenance.  This can also highlight areas where concrete specifications are ambiguous or conflicting in order to avoid later confusion, delays, and extra costs during construction and maintenance operations.

Concrete mix design and optimization

SIMCO is equipped with a state-of-the-art concrete laboratory, and has highly competent technical staff and professional engineers, chemists, and physicists who can evaluate the unique environmental and economic situation of a wind park, as well as local materials and suppliers, in order to design a concrete mix that will meet the physical and chemical properties required for optimal durability and cost.  SIMCO has developed and validated specialized testing and modeling methods which predict the long-term performance associated to a specific concrete mix within a given environment.  As a typical wind turbine base will have between 500m3 and 550m3 of concrete, any savings on materials which have no negative impact (or may actually improve) on the long-term durability and performance of these bases represents a significant financial advantage for a wind park project.

Theoretical evaluation of concrete base durability

With over a decade of experience with STADIUM®, a proprietary and validated predictive modeling tool, SIMCO has developed an extensive database of the most common concrete from which the durability and performance can be evaluated under different environmental conditions. Given the chemical composition and physical properties of the concrete used and extrapolating from those mixes already in its database, SIMCO can provide a theoretical evaluation of the durability of wind turbine concrete bases.  This evaluation is useful to owners looking for an initial appraisal of the durability they can expect out of their concrete bases or if further testing is required to determine if the concrete base will fulfill its expected service life.

Expert supervision and quality control of base construction and concrete pouring

As concrete placement practices have a significant impact on long-term concrete performance, SIMCO experts have extensive field experience in ensuring the highest level of quality in the preparation and placement of concrete.  Our experts will ensure proper placement, cover, homogeneity, and settlement of concrete during construction.  SIMCO is also fully equipped to sample and test concrete following all current industry quality control standards and provide detailed reports on the quality of the in-situ concrete.

Evaluation of concrete base durability

Either during or after pouring, SIMCO can take samples for STADIUM evaluation and durability modeling.  This will determine the expected long-term performance of the concrete base under the given environmental conditions directly and therefore, with greater accuracy and lower risk than a theoretical evaluation.  This will provide a valuable analysis of how long the concrete bases can be expected to perform safely and effectively at minimal risk for its planned and residual service life.

Asset management database

As SIMCO’s concrete mix evaluation also provides insight into the long-term performance of wind turbine bases, this information can be compiled into a database of assets for a complete wind park.  This provides owners with an overall assessment of the existing and remaining service life of the concrete bases in a given wind park, as well as highlighting which bases (if any) require particular attention.  Given the nature of wind turbine bases, it is not economically beneficial to rely on regular visual inspections – especially of underground parts – to determine residual service life and ensure safety.  It is therefore operationally and financially beneficial to make use of service-life information collected through SIMCO’s modeling and expertise, as part of a long-term inspection and maintenance strategy which targets resources to where and when they are needed.

Our Services

  • Review and validate all aspects related to concrete design, placement and curing in the specifications
  • Evaluate the characteristics and performance of local materials to optimize overall construction costs
  • Evaluate concrete proportions and components according to different exposure conditions and service-life requirements
  • Optimize construction procedures to ensure compliance to industry regulations and quality standards
  • Provide expert troubleshooting services and quality control during construction or repair and rehabilitation
  • Model ingress of contaminants in case of waterproofing malfunctions

Featured Projects

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Lac Alfred Wind Park Concrete Foundations Expertise

EDF Canada, Lac Alfred Wind Park

EDF Canada, Lac Alfred Wind Park

Analyze quality control test results recorded on the concrete used to cast wind turbine bases at Lac Alfred Wind Park in Quebec

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Le Plateau wind park concrete inspection and evaluation

Le Plateau Wind Park

Le Plateau Wind Park

Development of an cost-optimal corrective action plan to correct quality problems identified with the concrete in order to prevent any further occurrence

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Signeurie de Beaupre Wind Park Concrete condition assessment and repair

Seigneurie de Beaupré Wind Park

Seigneurie de Beaupré Wind Park

Assess the conformity of the concrete mixture used for the construction of wind turbine foundations in Seigneurie de Beaupré Wind Park

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