PhairywinD - Monopile tests


Global offshore wind industry has grown significantly in the last decades. This includes the Belgian offshore wind industry. A wind farm concession zone has been prepared in the border of Belgium and France to accommodate more wind farms, adding a significant number of Belgian wind farms to the current operational wind farms in the border of Belgium and the Netherlands (Figure 1).

Belgian Offshore Wind Farms

Figure 1. Belgian Offshore Wind Farms, Source: FAQ – Belgian Offshore Platform

PhairywinD (, funded by the Belgian Energy Transition Fund (FPS Economy), was initiated to ensure the future Belgian offshore industry. One of the research projects is to investigate the wave field around the vicinity of the large monopile for marine operation activities (Figure 2). Monopile is chosen because it is the most built offshore wind support structure, and the diameter is expected to increase to accommodate deeper water conditions.

Monopile illustration research objective

Figure 2. Illustration of research objective: to understand the wave field around a monopile

Research Project

Three incoming wave fields (regular, bichromatic, and irregular waves) were investigated. The model consisted of one transparent monopile with diameter of 0.4m at water depth of 1.4m. The waves were measured with several wave gauges located around the monopile. Furthermore, cameras were installed at several positions to record the visual observations.

Monopile testing COB


Initial results of the experiments have been presented in:

  1. Wind PhD Days - poster (Offshore Wind PhD Days 2023 | Recap (
  2. Hannover PhD Seminar – extended abstract (PhD Seminar (

Video footage: Waves run up detection on PhairywinD monopile model test in COB - YouTube