3D numerical analysis of screw pile subjected to axial compressive and lateral load

P. V. Pavan Kumar, Shantanu Patra, Sumanta Haldar, Michael John Brown, Jonathan Adam Knappett, Yaseen Umar Sharif

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Onshore wind turbine foundations are typically subjected to lateral wind load and axial compressive load from the superstructure. The concrete gravity type foundation and precast or cast-in-situ piles are conventionally used as a foundation for wind turbines. However, they involve higher material costs for gravity type foundation and are not environmentally friendly as they have a greater carbon footprint. They also produce greater spoil during installation for cast-in-situ piles, or noise and vibration for driven piles. In the present study, screw piles are considered to be an alternative to the existing concrete foundations for wind turbines. A three-dimensional numerical analysis is carried out to analyse the screw piles behaviour under the combined lateral and axial loading in loose sand. The screw pile is considered to be wished-in-place. The soil is modelled assuming the Mohr-Coulomb constitutive relationship and the screw pile modelled assuming the linear-elastic behaviour. The performance of the screw piles is studied in terms of their load-carrying capacity and the yield envelopes are developed. The effect of the helix spacing, helix number, and the effect of axial compressive load on lateral capacity are studied. Finally, the behaviour of screw piles is compared to the solid straight shaft concrete piles. Results show that the performance of the screw piles considered per unit weight of the foundation is much better than the conventional concrete piles. Hence, the screw piles could be used as a potential alternative foundation for the wind turbines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoil Dynamics, Earthquake and Computational Geotechnical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Indian Geotechnical Conference 2021 Volume 5
EditorsKasinathan Muthukkumaran, R. Ayothiraman, Sreevalsa Kolathayar
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-19-6998-0
ISBN (Print)978-981-19-6997-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
EventIndian Geotechnical Conference (IGC 2021) - NIT Tiruchirappalli, Tiruchirappalli, India
Duration: 16 Dec 202118 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


ConferenceIndian Geotechnical Conference (IGC 2021)
Abbreviated titleIGC 2021


  • Screw piles
  • solar panels
  • Lateral loads
  • finite element analysis
  • Combined loading
  • Cohesionless soil
  • 3D FEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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