Over the past decade, many simulators dedicated to the behaviour of floating wind turbines have been developed. The vast majority of these models are based on a multi-body formulation where the floating wind turbine is represented as a set of deformable and rigid bodies interconnected. The blades, the tower, the rotor shaft and the anchor lines are generally considered deformable while the platform and the floating support are assumed to be rigid.
While this approach may be sufficient for medium power rotors, the recent development of 10 to 15 MW rotors will require larger foundations for which the hydro-elastic effects should become significant.
Scientific advances and innovation
To cope with this new design challenge, LHEEA plans to expand the capabilities of its current floating turbine simulator. This project aims to develop a hydro-elastic solver for the calculation of structural loadings sustained by floating wind foundations. This work will involve the coupling of an “in-house” hydrodynamic solver based on a unsteady potential theory with a structural solver based on a finite element formulation. A second task will focus on the experimental validation that will be conducted at Centrale Nantes with segmented models of two types of floating foundations: a SPAR-type foundation and a TLP-type base.
Expected technical and economic impact
The scientific and technical impact of the project is on both the numerical and the experimental aspects of the project:
- The numerical modelling of the hydroelastic behavior of floating wind turbine foundations by means of a unstationary potential model would be a first of its kind in the floating wind energy community.
- Experimental results of floating wind turbine foundations with segmented models are very few; the proposed experimental campaign will be then strongly valuable for the community.
Key project milestones
- 05/04/2019 - Kick-Off
- 2019 - Numerical developments
- 2020 - Experimental tests
- March 2021 - End of the project