Plate Load Test speeds up Wind Farm Geotechnical Testing – Case Study

Jan 12, 2024 | Bearing Capacity, Compaction Control, Rail Formation & Ballast Condition Assessment

Wind Farm Geotechnical Testing

We find clients are often looking for ways to improve geotechnical testing outcomes and do it more efficiently at the same time. This drives their buying decision making. Australian Soil and Concrete Testing (ASCT) was a case in point when they were searching for Plate Load Test equipment for their upcoming Collector Wind Farm project. Some of the things that motivated them include:

  • Faster – reduced time to test and get results – real time if possible so decisions could be made straight away
  • Cost effective – ideally a one person operation
  • More representative – focused on measuring the fundamental design parameters in the field (comparing like with like)
  • Accurate and repeatable
  • Without errors through instrumented equipment with data automatically and accurately recorded and results produced by machines to overcome manual data recording, transposition or calculation errors
  • GPS located and time stamped – know where and when every test is done
  • Visually presented results (e.g. graphical)
  • Improved safety

ASCT were aware of traditional methods of plate load testing available with the associated safety, time (2-4 hours just to setup and do the test plus data analysis adding significant additional time) and data integrity issues.

Traditional Method

Traditional Method

Modern Method

Modern Method

For this project, they needed Plate Load Test equipment that was suitable for pavement, foundation and temporary works platform (crane pad) investigation.

They needed to measure the load-deflection relationship and the strain moduli of the first and the second loading cycle, Ev1 and Ev2, enabling them to determine the allowable bearing capacity.

Wind Farm Geotechnical Testing

The German designed and manufactured AX01 Plate Load Test came on their radar, initially attracted by the short operation time (approx. 20-30 mins per test including setup, test & results graphing). They realised that, with the volume of testing required for the Collector Wind Farm, the return on investment (ROI) would be very short. GPS located data being captured and analysed electronically on the spot was also very attractive.

Now their Plate Load Test gear is popping on other large infrastructure projects like Snowy 2.0.

Australian Soil and Concrete Testing (ASCT) provides Construction Material Testing to infrastructure projects throughout Australia.

To find related videos, technical standards and research papers please visit the AX01 Plate Load Test section of our website.

The PANDA probe is giving us and the construction team very useful insight with immediate feedback on the compaction being achieved on a major new rail construction project in QLD. We have two teams working daily using PANDA DCP’s and the Automatic Hammer on the rail formation, enabling real time decision making with confidence, based on the highly repeatable results.

Federico Velasquez

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, CMW GeoSciences

If your after sales service is anything like what I have already received, I think I definitely made the correct choice.

Sam Hill

Laboratory Manager, Coffey Testing

Our Plate Load equipment is getting a lot of use. We’re very happy with it. 🙂

Mary Flux

Director & Engineering Geologist, WANT Geotechnics

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