Optimal design of galvanic corrosion protection systems for offshore wind turbine support structures

Ali Sarhadi*, Asger Bech Abrahamsen, Mathias Stolpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The current work addresses a mass/cost optimization procedure for galvanic anode cathodic protection (GACP) systems based on both cathodic protection (CP) standards and numerical simulation. An approach is developed for optimizing the number and dimensions of the galvanic anodes, distributing the optimized anodes on the support structure, and finally evaluating the protective potential on the structure during the lifetime by calling the finite element (FE) software COMSOL. An algorithm based on Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) is used for optimizing the number and dimensions of the anodes. Both simplified and detailed models are suggested for calculating the protective potential on the structure. The simplified model is selected based on its advantages in terms of calculation time and compatibility with DNV standard data. A time-dependent FE model is employed to take into account the electrical isolation degradation of the structure coating as well as the mass reduction of the anodes during the CP lifetime.
The performance of the proposed optimization process is examined on a mono bucket inspired (with some simplifications) by the Dogger Bank metrological mast in England. The optimized designs for different coating and anode types are compared and the best designs in terms of both cost and protective potential during the lifetime are suggested. The achieved results show that the proposed optimization procedure can reduce the cost of the CP system around 70% compared to the original non-optimized CP design of the Dogger Bank metrological mast. Furthermore, evaluating the time-evolution performance of the CP systems can reduce their lifetime uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)829-841
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Corrosion protection
  • Lifetime
  • Optimal design
  • Wind turbine support structure


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