Title:
PARTIALLY PREFABRICATED MODULAR FOUNDATION SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wind turbine foundation having a central pedestal, a bottom support slab, and a plurality of prefabricated radial reinforcing ribs. The pedestal and support slab are poured in situ at the site. When the concrete cures the support slab is united to the prefabricated ribs and the ribs are also united to the pedestal. The result is a continuous monolithic foundation wherein loads are carried across the structure vertically and laterally through the continuous structure by doweled and spliced reinforcing steel bars which are integrally cast into the pedestal, ribs and support slab. The slab thus behaves structurally as a continuous slab reducing deflections, improving fatigue conditions and increasing the stiffness of the foundation as well as allowing for the benefits of an economical design.



Inventors:
Phuly, Ahmed (Anoka, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/859588
Publication Date:
03/27/2008
Filing Date:
09/21/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/650.2, 52/745.04
International Classes:
E04H12/12; E02D27/32; E04G21/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Foreign References:
DE3336655A11985-04-25
DE4037438A11992-05-27
WO1999043956A11999-09-02
JP2001020849A2001-01-23
EP10746632001-02-07
JP2002129585A2002-05-09
DE7637601U11977-03-31
FR1015719A1952-10-20
DK200000612A2001-09-10
WO2000046452A12000-08-10
Primary Examiner:
SAFAVI, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Steven E. Kahm (Hopkins, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A foundation for a tower structure which comprises: a prefabricated rib made of a girder with a means for receiving and continuously supporting a cast in situ slab on both sides of the girder, wherein such means insure structural continuity of the slab across the girder; and the inner end of the girder has a means for being connected to and structurally fixed into a cast in situ, tower supporting, concrete pedestal.

2. A foundation for a tower structure as in claim 1 having, a vertically extending pedestal cast in situ out of concrete, a substantially horizontal support slab cast in situ out of concrete, beneath and connected to the pedestal and, a plurality of ribs extending radially outwardly from the pedestal, the ribs integrally joined to the support slab and to the pedestal.

3. A foundation for a tower structure as described in claim 2 wherein, the cast in situ pedestal has an embedded anchor bolt assembly, for supporting a tower base, wherein the bolt assembly comprises an array of bond protected anchor bolts extending vertically and having one or more bearing elements at the bottom.

4. A foundation for a tower structure as described in claim 2 further comprising: a piling system or anchor system connected to the foundation and extending into the ground below the foundation.

5. A foundation for a tower structure as described in claim 1 wherein: the girder is equipped with means for receiving and connecting to at least one pile or anchor extending into the ground below the foundation.

6. A foundation for a tower structure as described in claim 2 further comprising: a pedestal anchor bolt assembly integral with the pedestal for connecting a tower structure thereto.

7. A foundation for a tower structure as described in claim 2 further comprising: an array of piers integral with the ribs with means for connecting to and supporting an array tower base element.

8. A method for constructing a foundation for a tower structure which comprises: providing a plurality of prefabricated ribs and transporting such ribs to the site where the foundation is to be constructed; arranging such ribs in a spaced array with the ribs being laterally spaced from one another and with inner ends and with inner ends of the ribs being adjacent a location where a tower supporting pedestal is to be formed; providing a pedestal reinforcing cage and tower receiving components at the location where the pedestal to be formed; providing a support slab reinforcing elements at the location where the support slab to be formed; and pouring concrete at the site into pedestal and support slab areas to integrally join the ribs both to the slab and the pedestal after the poured concrete sets.

9. A method for constructing a foundation for a tower structure as in claim 8 further including the step of: prestressing the concrete vertically using a bolt assembly, in the pedestal and diagonally along the ribs and across the pedestal, and radially across the slab and circumferentially across the slab and ribs.

10. A foundation for a lattice tower structure which comprises: a vertically extending central component that is cast in situ out of concrete; a substantially horizontal support slab that is cast in situ out of concrete, the support slab covering an area of ground larger than that covered by the central component; and a plurality of radial ribs extending radially outwardly from the pedestal and spaced around the pedestal, each rib being prefabricated and being joined along the base thereof to the support slab when the support slab is cast in situ and being joined along an inner side thereof to the pedestal when the pedestal is cast in situ. wherein each rib has an integrated pier that is fitted to receive and support a column of the lattice tower at the base.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a method for building partially prefabricated foundations for supporting wind turbines towers.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventional gravity style foundations for large wind turbine usually comprise a large, thick, horizontal, heavily reinforced cast in situ concrete base; and a vertical cast in situ cylindrical pedestal that is installed over the base. There are several problems that are typically encountered during the construction of such foundations.

The main problem is the monumental task of managing large continuous concrete pours, which require sophisticated planning and coordination in order to pour more than four hundred yards of concrete in one continuous pour, without having any cold joints in.

Another problem is logistics coordinating with multiple local batch plants the delivery plan of the large number of concrete trucks to the job site in a timely, organized manner.

A further problem is the complexity of installing the rebar assembly into the foundation which requires assembling two layers of steel reinforcing meshes that are two to six feet apart across the full area of the foundation, while maintaining strict geometric layout and specific spacing. This rebar assembly is made of extremely long and heavy rebar which requires the use of a crane in addition to multiple workers to install all components of the assembly. The rebar often exceeds forty feet in length, thus requiring special oversized shipment which is very expensive and usually requires special permits. That labor intensive and time consuming task requires large number of well trained rebar placing workers.

Another important problem is the fact that majority of the construction process consist of field work which could be easily compromised by weather and other site conditions.

A final problem is the thermal cracking of concrete due to overheating of the concrete mass. When concrete is cast in massive sections for wind tower foundations, temperature can reach high levels and the risk of thermal cracking becomes very likely. Thermal cracking often compromises the structural integrity of the foundations.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is desired to have a modular prefabricated foundation system such that each individual tower site can have a foundation built to standardized sizes for different wind turbine models, tower heights and geotechnical conditions. The wind turbine foundations can then be built to the standards of the Modular Prefabricated Foundation System which uses precast concrete rib stiffeners, with a cast in place slab on grade element and a central pedestal to build an integral foundation that will behave structurally as a monolithic foundation structure. Other precast components can be included such as perimeter beams, diaphragms, or intermediate stiffeners and slab sections. Some preassembled structural components such as pedestal cage with bolt assembly and slab reinforcing meshes can be used as components of the prefabricated foundation system.

Although the application is written for a wind turbine tower as the column being supported by the foundation, any tower or column can be used on the foundation including but not limited to, antennas, chimneys, stacks, distillation columns, water towers, electric power lines, bridges, buildings, or any other structure using a column.

A wind turbine foundation having a plurality of components, namely a central vertical pedestal, a substantially horizontal bottom support slab, and a plurality of radial reinforcing ribs extending radially outwardly from the pedestal. The ribs are prefabricated and transported to job site, but the pedestal and support slab are poured in situ at the site out of concrete. The prefabricated ribs are equipped with load transfer mechanisms, for shear force and bending moment, along the conjunctions with the cast in situ support slab. The prefabricated ribs are also equipped at their inner ends with load transfer mechanisms, for shear force and bending moment, along the conjunctions with the cast in situ pedestal. The ribs are arranged in a circumferentially spaced manner around the outer diameter of the pedestal cage assembly and slab reinforcing steel is installed. Forms are then arranged for the pedestal and support slab. The support slab is cast in situ by pouring concrete into the forms and then pedestal concrete is poured over the slab into the pedestal form. When the concrete cures the support slab is united to the prefabricated ribs and the ribs are also united to the pedestal. The final result is continuous monolithic polygon or circular shape foundation wherein loads are carried across the structure vertically and laterally through the continuous structure by the doweled and spliced reinforcing steel bars which are integrally cast into the pedestal, ribs and support slab. The combination of the high stiffness of the ribs, solid pedestal and continuous slab construction across the pedestal, and through or under ribs, allows the slab to behave structurally as a continuous slab over multiple rigid supports resulting in small bending and shear stresses in the slab, reducing deflections and increasing the stiffness of the foundation, improving fatigue conditions as well as allowing for the benefits of an economical design. Support slab reinforcing steel covers the entire footprint of the foundation and extends across the slab area under the pedestal to improve the structural performance of the foundation under different loading conditions.

The foundation of the present invention substantially reduces the amount of concrete used in wind turbine foundation of spread footing style, simplifies the placement of rebar and concrete in the foundation, allows for labor and time savings and shortens foundation construction schedule when compared to conventional designs.

This invention provides the wind energy industry with a foundation system suitable for large wind turbines including 2.5 MW, 3 MW and possibly larger, wherein the amount of cast in situ concrete work is limited, and the number of concrete trucks required for the foundation is small and manageable level.

The present invention relies on using prefabricated components that meet size and weight limits for standard ground freight shipping through typical roads and highways, without resorting to special permitting for oversize or overweight shipments, keeping in mind that the foundation width for large turbines can easily exceed sixty feet.

The present invention uses specific combinations of precast components with cast in situ components designed to speedup construction without compromising the rigidity and structural continuity and optimization of the foundation. The combination of high strength, high stiffness prefabricated ribs, solid pedestal construction and continuous slab construction across the pedestal, and through or under ribs, allows the slab to behave structurally as a continuous slab over multiple rigid supports resulting in small bending and shear stresses in the slab, reducing deflections and increasing the stiffness of the foundation, substantially reducing fatigue as well as allowing for the benefits of rapid construction and economical design.

The present invention improves the geometry of the foundation in order to enhance dissipation conditions for the heat of hydration due to the typical temperature rise after casting. This design feature is achieved by reducing the thickness of the support slab and the ratio of concrete mass to surface area, thus reducing the risk of thermal cracking and protecting the structural integrity of the foundations.

The present invention optimizes the design support slab by configuring slab reinforcing to span between supporting ribs and allowing it to continue under or across the ribs. As a result the required slab thickness is optimized and the amount of cast in situ concrete is reduced.

The present invention reduces the maximum rebar length for field installation to roughly 7.6 meters (twenty five feet), which is significantly shorter when compared to conventional footing that may requires 15.2 to 18.3 meters (fifty to sixty foot) long reinforcing bars.

The present invention allows rib dowels, or post tensioning strands, extending inwardly into the pedestal at one end, to be coupled with and connected to corresponding dowels, or strands, on the opposite end of the pedestal. As a result each pair of ribs on opposite ends of the pedestal will behave structurally as one continuous beam across the width of the foundation.

The present invention reduces fatigue for concrete and rebar in the foundation by minimizing stress concentrations through appropriately configured connections and component geometry. The solid and deep construction of the pedestal allows for great reduction of stresses across the pedestal and at the conjunctions between the pedestal and surrounding. Dowels into the pedestal are relatively deep and can be paired with corresponding dowels extending from the opposite end of the foundation. The solid pedestal offers generous bearing conditions for the tower base plate and improves geometry as needed to minimize fatigue.

The present invention employs prestressing and/or post tensioning techniques in order to maximize the performance of the foundation, or to extend its life span. Besides the tensioning of anchor bolts, tensioning of strands along the length concrete ribs and across the pedestal and circumferential 112 and radial 111 post tensioning strands imbedded in the foundation can be employed. A series of diagonal tensioning strand extending across adjacent ribs can be used.

The present invention ensures good contact between foundation and soil, or sub-base, by casting the slab against prepared soil, or crushed stone sub-base, or a mud slab. Known grouting and leveling techniques under ribs can be employed for ensuring plumb installation and good soil contact.

The present invention uses a tower base leveling and grouting without using tower anchor bolts for leveling, or having to use leveling shims which cause undesirable stress concentration at shim locations which could lead to localized fatigue failure at shim locations. This task is achieved by providing the bolt template at the very top of the bolt assembly with at least three sets of additional bolts and corresponding threaded bolt inserts suitable for embedment into concrete. Such leveling bolts and inserts will be located outside or inside the bolt circle of tower base, but directly under tower base flange. This allows for continuity of grout bed construction and provides an easy access for leveling bolts. Small cutouts at leveling bolt locations connected can be used. Another benefit of this leveling technique is having the ability to tension all anchor bolts in one work session.

The present invention improves safety and accessibility around foundations during construction, and reduces hazardous conditions for construction crew. That goal is achieved by using reusable pedestal form sections that connect to ribs to form and are fitted with platform sections for forming a continuous access platform around the pedestal, and connect to at least one access ramp extending beyond the edge of the foundation. The platform and the ramp are equipped with slip-resistant walking surface and elevated ramps all provided with guardrails and designed to applicable industry safety standards. The relatively thin slab thickness minimizes the risk of worker injury during bar assembly and concrete finishing. The ramps can also be structurally supported and stabilized by the ribs.

The present invention reduces the number of concrete trucks required per footing by roughly half. It also reduces construction crew size and man-hours per footing while eliminating concerns about managing large continuous pours and oversized trucking service.

The invention can be reconfigured for supporting lattice towers comprising multiple columns and can also be adapted for offshore foundations.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

An object of this invention is to provide the wind energy industry with a fast, reliable, yet cost effective foundation system that is suitable for most wind energy projects, including projects using the largest commercially available turbines and tallest towers, while providing a foundation lifespan that is longer than conventional foundation systems.

Another object of this invention is to reduce the cost of wind energy projects by realizing savings in the areas of rebar assembly, form work, concrete trucking service, concrete pouring and finishing, logistics, man-hours and crane operations.

It is the object of this invention is to provide foundation system suitable for large wind turbines including 2.5 MW, 3 MW or larger, wherein the amount of cast in situ concrete work is limited and the number of concrete trucks, required for the foundation is reduced to a manageable level when compared to conventional gravity style foundations.

Another object of this invention is to improve dissipation conditions for the heat of hydration and the typical temperature rise after casting. That goal is achieved by reducing the ratio of concrete mass to surface area. When concrete is cast in massive sections for wind tower foundations, temperature can reach 160 degree F. and the risk of thermal cracking becomes very high unless cooling techniques are applied. Thermal cracking often compromises the structural integrity of the foundations.

A further object of this invention is to improve foundation structural properties due to fabrication of some structural components in a fully controlled environment of a precast concrete plant.

Still another object of this invention is to utilize desirable features and benefits associated with mass production of precast concrete such as high reliability and uniform consistency and high compressive strength.

Another important object of this invention is to minimize chances for errors in bar placement, spacing and layout by providing pre-marked spacing for splicing slab rebar with existing dowels extending from ribs.

A further object of this invention is to use light weight, small, short and easy to handle rebar for the cast in situ concrete.

A further important object of this invention is to provide the wind energy industry with a solution for all weather construction.

Still another important object of this invention is to improve safety and accessibility around foundations under construction, and reduce hazardous conditions for construction crew.

A further significant object of this invention is to increase productivity and increase the number of footing that can be built in a given time frame using the same number of workers, when compared to conventional foundation designs built under similar conditions.

Another object of this invention is to employ prestressing and/or post tensioning techniques in order to maximize the performance of the foundation, or to extend its life span.

Another object of this invention is to provide the wind energy industry with reliable and readily available designs, and prefabricated components, for every wind energy project wherein foundation designs are pre-approved by and coordinated with turbine manufacture.

A further object of this invention is to use standard designs to reduce engineering work and simplify the permitting process, as well as improve project construction schedule.

Still another object of this invention is to utilize standard pre-approved designs resulting in significant reduction in engineering fees and third party approval fees.

It is also the object of this invention is to provide wind turbine vendors with the ability to select pre-approved complete foundation designs for wind turbine foundation based on project and site variables including turbine model and tower height; site geotechnical characteristics; and desired foundation style such as gravity or piling.

Another object of this invention is to provide foundation contractors with the convenience and economy of using commercially available prefabricated components with complete assembly and detail drawings that can be delivered to any project site with short lead time.

A further object of this invention is to improve the quality and productivity of foundation construction due to experience gained from practicing standard construction techniques.

Still another object of his invention is to provide structural engineers with selection guides for wind tower foundations adopted by wind turbine manufacturers and approved by industry organizations such as Precast Concrete Institute and American Wind Energy Association.

The final object of this invention is to use the modular foundation system for other tower structures such as chimneys, stacks, distillation columns and telecommunication towers.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the foundation showing the rebar before pouring the concrete.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a pedestal and ribs in a second embodiment with a pier for off shore applications.

FIG. 2B is a perspective view of a pedestal and ribs.

FIG. 3A is an inner perspective view of a rib showing connections to the pedestal and the slab.

FIG. 3B is an outer perspective view of a rib showing connections to the pedestal and the slab.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a rib and forms for forming the pedestal and slab.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bolt assembly and alignment apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the foundation prior to pouring the concrete showing the rebar and template for the anchor bolts and post tensioning elements.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a raised rib having means for raising the rib above the slab.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the foundation showing the alignment apparatus and a pedestal forming section.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the foundation showing the rebar and rebar cage.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view pedestal cage assembly with anchor bolt and reinforcing.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the foundation.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the rib for supporting a lattice style tower.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention pertains to a wind turbine foundation for wind turbines. The foundation comprises a plurality of components, namely a central vertical pedestal, a substantially horizontal bottom support slab, and a plurality of radial reinforcing ribs extending radially outwardly from the pedestal. The ribs are prefabricated and transported to job site, but the pedestal and support slab are poured in situ at the site out of concrete.

A construction site is prepared by excavation and flattening and preparation of soil for the foundation 10. The foundation 10 may be set on pilings, on piers, or have anchors in a conventional manner.

The foundation 10 may be set on a mud slab 14 or on compacted granular fill. The mud slab is often a thin plain concrete layer intended to provide a clean and level base for foundation installation. After the foundation site has been prepared, a plurality of three or more precast stiffener ribs 16 are placed on the mud slab 14 or compacted granular fill inside of the excavation pit 12. The precast concrete stiffener ribs 16 may have means for leveling or other leveling techniques can be employed for level and plumb installation. If desired, grouting techniques can be used to ensure complete rib base contact with the mud slab or sub-base. The precast concrete stiffener ribs 16 have bases 21 with left shear key 38 and/or shear connectors and right shear key 36 and/or shear connectors. The precast concrete stiffener ribs 16 also have a vertical shear key 34. The shear keys 34, 36 and 38 and associated dowels 40, 42 and 46 are to ensure continuous connections, with complete transfer of shear and bending loads, between the precast concrete rib stiffener 16 and the cast in place concrete which is to be poured into the foundation 10. The precast concrete stiffener ribs 16 have upper dowels 40 and lower dowels 42 extending on the right and left sides of the base 21 which interconnect with and spliced to upper mesh rebar 22 and lower mesh rebar 24 installed between the ribs 16 and connected to dowels 40, 42 to form reinforcement for the slabs of foundation 10 when the concrete is poured. The base 21 of rib 16 and the top of rib 16 also have dowels 46 radially entering the pedestal 100 in the center of the foundation.

Doweling of rebar between ribs and foundation components can be achieved by using rebar couplers, bar extenders or any mechanical rebar splicing system.

Shear keys can be replaced with, or combined with, corbels or shear studs, or other shear connectors such as angled rebar or embedded steel shapes.

In another embodiment an array of steel beams, encased into the web of the rib and extend inwardly into the pedestal cavity at the inner most end of ribs, shall serve as suitable shear force transfer mechanism between rib and pedestal and will also serve as shear reinforcing against pullout shear force of the embedment ring as it crosses the pullout cone of the embedment ring.

In another embodiment the embedment ring, arranged at bottom of bolt assembly, is connected or welded to beams, encased into the web of the array of rib and extend inwardly into the pedestal cavity at the inner most ends of ribs. This configuration will improve the resistance for pullout of the embedment ring by relying on engaging the shear load capacity of the deep ribs.

In one embodiment the ribs are treated with concrete bonding agent along the sides where cast in place concrete is received.

In another embodiment the ribs are provided with water stops or other sealers along the sides where cast in place concrete is received, if corrosion of rebar is a concern.

In another embodiment the ribs or other foundation elements are covered or coated with protective material for extending the life span of the footing.

In one embodiment the ribs 16 are placed on the mud slab 14 first and then the pedestal cage 50 made of an array of rebar preferably z shaped rebar and circumferential rebar is assembled. Alternatively the pedestal cage 50 is assembled first or a preassembled pedestal cage 50 dropped into place first and then the ribs 16 with dowels 46 are slid into place so that dowels 46 and shear connectors fit between the pedestal cage 50 rebar assembly.

As best seen in FIG. 3, the precast concrete stiffener rib 16 has lifting lugs 32 to help place the stiffener rib 16 into the excavated construction area. The base 21 has a flat bottom surface such that the ribs may stand on their own on the mud slab 14 or compacted granular fill or during transportation from precast plant to foundation site. The precast concrete stiffener ribs 16 have prestressing elements 58 running through the ribs 16 radially from the outside of the ribs 16 and through pedestal 100. The prestressing elements 58 (or post tensioning elements) may be anchored to the opposite side of the pedestal or optionally run through the opposing precast concrete stiffener 16 on the other side of the pedestal 16 and anchored at the end of the opposite rib 16. Couplers can be used to connect prestressing strands extended though ribs and across the pedestal. Once the ribs 16 and the pedestal cage 50 are in place, the dowels 46 extending radially inward from ribs 16 may be connected to, or spliced with, corresponding dowels arranged in the pedestal cage. Inside of a cage 50 are additional rebars 48 which will facilitate the continuity of the structural components through the pedestal 100 as well as resist bearing, shear and pending loads.

Also inside of pedestal reinforcement cage 50 is a bolt assembly 60 comprising a bolt template 52 an embedment ring 54 and anchor bolts 56 protected by a PVC sleeve 57 or wrapped with a material to prevent bonding between the anchor bolts and concrete to be poured. The anchor bolts 56 have a top portion which is used to attach the base flange of a tower or column to the pedestal. A grout trough template at the bottom of the bolt template 52 may be used to create a grout trough to ensure a good connection of the tower or column to the pedestal 100. The grout trough 90 will be formed by removing the bolt template 52 from the anchor bolts 56 after the concrete has been poured. Radial dowels, prestressing elements or shear connectors at the inner end of ribs should be spaced to clear anchor bolts and other reinforcement arranged in pedestal cage.

In order to hold the bolt assembly 60 in place for proper alignment of the anchor bolts 56 an alignment apparatus 130 can be utilized. The alignment apparatus 130 can have a central post 132 with arms 134 attached perpendicularly to the center post and having legs 136 for attachment to the top of the ribs 16 to provide added stability, and bolt circle proper alignment during construction. The legs 136 being of adjustable height relative to the arms 134. The arms 134 may have braces 138 attached to the central post 132 for holding the arms straight. The central post 132 may also have rod supports 135 for holding reinforcement rebars such as reinforcement rebars 80 which are spliced to dowels 46. The alignment apparatus 130 also has adjustable support members 140 for attachment between the arms 134 and the bolt template 52 to align the anchor bolts 56 so they are upright. The alignment apparatus 130 can support the bolt assembly without central post by relying on the legs 136 supported by ribs, which allows the lower portion of the central post to be removed if desired. Alignment apparatus can be used as at template to ensure proper location, elevation and orientation of ribs.

The ribs 16 can be of any shape or size depending on the specifications of the tower and loads thereon. For example the ribs may be trapezoidal, rectangular, box, tee shaped or I beam shaped. The ribs may have intermediate stiffener plates or diaphragms for improved structural performance. The ribs 16 may have steps 120 or may receive ramps or catwalks thereon for easy access to the forms and pedestal used during construction and maintenance and means for supporting stairs, ramps, ladders and catwalks for use during construction or for maintenance.

Ribs 16 can have means for receiving and supporting forms 18, such as bolts or threaded inserts for receiving and supporting the pedestal forms 102. The ribs 16 may also have attachment means 15 for holding base forms 17. The pedestal forms may be equipped with platform sections for allowing access around the pedestal and the rest of the footing. The ribs may also have steel beams, trusses or girders encased in the concrete along the length of the ribs. The beams or girders can connect to a central steel drum or structure in the pedestal for forming a monolithic structure.

With all the rebar, ribs 16, pedestal 100, bolt assembly frame 80 and optional alignment apparatus 130 in place concrete forms may be attached such that concrete can be poured to form the pedestal and base of the foundation. The pedestal forms 102 may be attached to the ribs 16 by bolts 18 or by any other means. Similarly the base perimeter forms 17 may be attached to the ribs 16 by bolts 15 or by any other means. Alternatively the base perimeter forms may be supported to the ground or the mud slab.

With all the parts assembled all the rebar in place and the conduit for the prestressing cable or rods of the foundation in place, concrete is ready to be pored into the pedestal and between the ribs. The pouring of the concrete can be accomplished quickly and the area between the ribs can be finished as the pedestal concrete is still being poured. The concrete may all be added at the central portion of the pedestal or at the pedestal and the base simultaneously. Alternatively the base for the entire foot print of the footing can be poured in a first pour then the pedestal can be formed in a second pour.

When the concrete sets, the upper section of the alignment apparatus 130 and the bolt template 52 may be removed by unbolting the connection plate 150 from the top portion of the central post 160, and unbolting the legs 136 from ribs.

For higher load capacity post tensioning of the foundation is completed by tightening post tensioning cables 110. Circumferential and radial post-tensioning techniques in slab and pedestal can be used if desired.

After the concrete sets, the foundation can be covered with the backfill material to add weigh on top of the foundation base to stabilize the foundation against overturning.

Alternately the bolt assembly can be replaced by a drum with dowels or plates for embedding in concrete and the drum having means for receiving a tower base by means of joining bolts attached to the top of the drum.

Pedestal 100 can be any size or shape, round, triangular, square, polygon or other shape depending on the specifications of the tower and loads thereon. The ribs can be in any pattern around the pedestal. An alternative design is shown in FIG. 2 having a square pedestal and ribs at the corners parallel to the faces of the pedestal.

Pre-assembled reinforcement sections (meshes) of the slab components can be lowered down in place to speedup construction. A combination of mechanical bar couplers and splicing techniques can be used provide continuity of reinforcing across the foundation.

Pre-assembled rib forms with all internal components including rebar, dowels and prestressing elements can be used in lieu of precast ribs in the same manner as the described above. Cast in place concrete will be poured into the rib forms as well as the pedestal and the slab. Forms for ribs and pedestal can be removed and reused.

Ribs can also be made in segments and eventually united by means doweling or using structural connectors

Forms for the pedestal and foundation perimeter can be made of precast concrete as separate components or as an integral part of the rib, and can be left as part of the structure.

Ribs can be made with arrangement, mechanisms and connecters for receiving piles or anchors in different configurations.

When the concrete cures the support slab is united to the prefabricated ribs and the ribs are also united to the pedestal. The final result is continuous monolithic foundation wherein loads are carried across the structure vertically and laterally through the continuous structure by the doweled and spliced reinforcing steel bars which are integrally cast into the pedestal, ribs and support slab. The combination of the high stiffness of the ribs, solid pedestal and continuous slab construction across the pedestal, and through ribs, allows the slab to behave structurally as a continuous slab over multiple rigid supports resulting in small flexural and shear stresses in the slab, reducing deflections, improving fatigue conditions and increasing the stiffness of the foundation as well as allowing for the benefits of an economical design.

The prefabricated ribs 16 can be molded at a facility under controlled conditions for good quality concrete setting and controlled rebar spacing which is superior to what can be obtained on a job site and at a lower cost. The ribs, acting as deep stiff girders and similar to counterforts, allow the base of the foundation slabs to have a relatively small thickness using less cast in place concrete and rebar thus saving cost for each foundation. The base rebar will be of smaller size than rebar used on a standard cast in place gravity-style spread footing.

Alternatively ribs 16 can have posts 170, or other means, arranged at the ribs 16 to hold the ribs 16 in place, maintain them plumb during construction and elevate them over sub-base at a predetermined. This style of ribs is intended to be raised above the ground or mud slab 14 so that foundation support slab can be poured in place continuously under ribs. Dowels and shear connectors for this style may be arranged at the bottom of the rib for connecting with base slab which extends under the raised rib. When the concrete cures the continuous support slab, extending under the ribs, is united to the prefabricated ribs and the ribs are also united to the pedestal. The final result is continuous monolithic foundation wherein loads are carried across the structure vertically and laterally through the continuous structure by the doweled and spliced reinforcing steel bars which are integrally cast into the pedestal, ribs and support slab. The combination of the high stiffness of the ribs, solid pedestal and continuous slab construction across the pedestal, and under ribs, allows the slab to behave structurally as a continuous slab over multiple rigid supports resulting in small flexural and shear stresses in the slab, reducing deflections, improving fatigue conditions and increasing the stiffness of the foundation as well as allowing for the benefits of an economical design.

Cast in situ concrete can be shielded from extreme weather, including heat, cold, rain and snow, by simply extending blankets, covers or shields between ribs, and then using heaters or fans as required to regulate temperature, humidity of concrete to allow for proper curing.

Therefore, for wind turbine construction as an example, a known turbine model and tower the base loads and tower base configuration can be matched with site characteristics and geotechnical conditions to select a standard foundation design requirement to build standardized foundations so that engineering time and expense for building wind turbine foundations can be reduced significantly.

Another embodiment of the present invention pertains to a leveling technique that simplifies tower base leveling process and shortens the number of steps required for grouting under tower base. The bolt template is provided at the very top of the bolt assembly with at least three sets of additional bolts and corresponding threaded bolt inserts suitable for embedment into concrete. Such leveling bolts and inserts will be located outside or inside the bolt circle of tower base, but directly under tower base flange. This allows for continuity of grout bed construction and provides an easy access for leveling bolts. Small cutouts at leveling bolt locations connected can be used. Another benefit of this leveling technique is having the ability to tension all anchor bolts in one work session.

The foundation design can be reconfigured to support lattice towers comprising multiple columns with base plate connected to foundations at a spaced array. The ribs will be provided column base plate receiving components including embedded anchor bolts and an integrated pier design into the rib. The rib geometry will be widened and enlarged at the integral pier. The array of integrated piers arranged into ribs shall receive the array of columns of the lattice tower. The integrated piers can extend above final grade elevation, while the top of pedestal can stay below final grade elevation. For this foundation style, no bolt assembly or tower receiving components will be required in the depressed pedestal.

This foundation design can also be adapted for offshore wind turbine projects. In this case the foundation may be assembled on a floating platform or dry dock then transported or floated to its destination, then lowered into a prepared seabed location. The foundation can be weighed down in place by filling over it with suitable material.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.