When a wind turbine installation jack-up performs a heavy lifting operation with the crane it affects the loads on the foundation. For these units the crane typically encircles a leg or is positioned close to it. Consequently, that leg attracts most of the loads due to crane operations. For each location jack-ups prove the capacity of the foundation by applying a controlled, high load at each of the footings before commencing operations. This process is known as preloading. The achieved preload at the jack-up’s foundation determines the operational limit. Exceedance of the preload value may result in foundation instability. Depending on the site’s foundation characteristics the consequences of such an exceedance range from negligible to catastrophic failure. GustoMSC has developed Operator Support System (OSS) software with the purpose to make the operator aware of the limitations imposed by the preloaded foundation. The application outlines operational limits based on real-time data from the jack-up, jacking system and crane which enables the operators to safely unlock the full potential of their wind turbine installation jack-up.

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