First Advisor

Franz N. Rad

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Wind turbines -- Design and construction, Renewable energy sources, Wind power, Towers -- Design and construction




The current practice for wind turbine foundations is to use massive cast-in-place concrete spread footings or complex pile-supported foundations. Wind turbine generator components and the towers that support them are pre-fabricated and assembled on site, leaving the foundation as the only component of the wind turbine system requiring major in situ construction. The new “hexapod” foundation concept is fully pre-fabricated, uses a fraction of the quantity of concrete used in conventional foundations, and may be dismantled and re-used elsewhere. The wind turbine tower is attached to a steel or concrete hub which is attached to six radial, precast, post-tensioned concrete beams. The hub and beams are transported to the site, assembled, and anchored to the ground using micropiles. The “hexapod” foundation concept was studied in the context of governing design standards and anticipated structural behavior, and a set of design criteria were established. A parametric structural study was conducted to determine the “hexapod” foundation configurations that exhibited the most favorable performance according to the design criteria, and to observe the sensitivity of the foundation’s performance to changes in design properties. Based on the parametric study, recommendations for design and for future study were established.


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A research project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering

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